Thursday, February 21, 2019


The Orchard Foundation News

Register today for a Read to Soar workshop!
/ Categories: News Release

Register today for a Read to Soar workshop!

Register early; limited spaces available.

The Read to Soar early literacy program, recently developed under The Rapides Foundation’s Education Initiative and administered by The Orchard Foundation, is preparing young children for school success by cultivating a love for reading long before they set foot in a classroom.

Read to Soar is a free, eight-session reading workshop for children ages birth to 5 and their parents or caregivers. The workshops help develop and strengthen a culture of reading at home by educating parents, building a child's home library and increasing awareness about community resources to help ensure the child has the tools for school success. By the end of the program, children get a certificate of participation and 40 new books to adorn their home library while parents come away with tips and resources that help them teach their young ones.

Each workshop focuses on a different topic area and is designed to be fun, giving parents and caregivers a chance to bond with their kids in a learning environment. Workshops include music, dancing, crafts and refreshments.

Read to Soar is a concerted effort to reach out to children before they enter kindergarten to ensure success throughout their entire school careers, and it complements School Readiness work funded by The Rapides Foundation currently being done in pre-K, head-start centers and child-care centers.

“We know how important it is at the pre-K and kindergarten level that a child comes ready and prepared in order for them to be successful and move forward in school. So we had to think of the best way to get a child kindergarten ready, and in order to do that you have to focus on birth to 5,” said Marjorie Taylor, Executive Director of The Orchard Foundation. “If we can get pre-K and kindergarten students coming in that have already developed strong reading habits, then the more successful that child will be.”

The eight Read to Soar sessions follow early childhood education best practices and are specifically tailored for Central Louisiana. To reach more Central Louisiana parishes, The Orchard Foundation contracted with four early literacy specialists to teach Read to Soar throughout Cenla.

Workshops are limited to 15 families at a time and registration is required in advance. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Parents can bring multiple children, although only one set of books goes home with each family. Families get books after each session. By the end of the eight sessions, participants will receive a grand total of 40 books and a book bag.

To register, download the flyer for your parish in the listing below and then call, text or email the instructor listed for the workshop. To learn about upcoming workshops in other parishes, call The Orchard Foundation at 318-767-3029.

Upcoming workshops:

Rapides Parish, Lecompte– Read to Soar workshop will be held in Lecompte at the Johnson Branch of the Rapides Parish Library on Tuesdays, January 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 12 and 19 from 3-5 p.m. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, call or text Debbie Dollar at (318) 715-4435 or email Download the flyer here: Read to Soar Workshop Rapides Parish - Lecompte


Rapides Parish, Alexandria  – Read to Soar workshop will be held at the Charles Hayward Center in Alexandria on Mondays, January 28, February 4, 11, 18, 25 and March 11, 18 and 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For more information and to register, call Rebekah Simpson (318) 767-3029 or email Download the flyer here: Read to Soar Workshop Rapides Parish - Alexandria Housing Authority


Previous Article New Foundation program develops reading skills in young children
Next Article The Orchard Foundation Awarded $4.5 Million Grant

Documents to download


Join our mailing list.

Sign up to receive news and updates from The Orchard Foundation and The Rapides Foundation delivered to your inbox.


Stay Connected with us.


Media Contact

Tammy Moreau, Director of Communications
318-767-3004 (direct)

Terms Of UsePrivacy StatementCopyright 2019 by The Orchard Foundation