Founded in 2010, Traveling Stories wanted to provide a program for at-risk kids that would not only help them learn to read, but also help them fall in love with reading. In 2011, Traveling Stories created the StoryTent: a mobile literacy program that would provide one-on-one reading support and motivational incentives to kids. For every book read, kids earn a Book Buck, which can be redeemed for prizes. This keeps the kids excited and motivated to learn, as well as teaches them money management skills.
We serve kids between the ages of 2 and 12 years old. From birth until 3rd grade, kids are learning to read, but from 4th grade on, kids are reading to learn. Kids in low-income households who can’t read proficiently by 4th grade are 15 times more likely to drop out of school. Sadly, in the U.S., 82% of disadvantaged kids can’t read at grade level. We currently serve over 3,000 local kids a year by our weekly programs in El Cajon and City Heights.
TRAVELING STORIES SUCCESS STORIES
Mohammad admits that before he found the StoryTent he hated reading. Now, because of Traveling Stories, he loves reading and is writing his own book. Mohammad says that his grades in school started going up when he started reading for fun. Now a high school student, he volunteers at the StoryTent to help younger kids benefit from the program in the same way he did. Listen to Mohammad’s radio interview with the San Diego Union Tribune HERE!
Aleen and Kareen
When we first met Aleen and Kareen, they communicated with grunts. At four-years-old, they didn’t speak. Their mom was worried. After visiting the StoryTent every week for several months, the girls grew more confident and started speaking. Now, they greet new readers and explain how the program works. They’ve identified favorite books and are working to read on their own.
Abdihamid was 9 years old when he first visited the StoryTent. He couldn’t read and was too embarrassed to ask for help. Motivated by the prizes, he continued to visit often. To earn Book Bucks he had to read with a volunteer. Eventually, this one-on-one support helped Abdihamid learn how to read on his own. He’s now confidently reading chapter books and earning prizes worth over $50 Book Bucks.
5 EYE-OPENING ECONOMIC IMPACTS ON LITERACY STATS
Traveling Stories helps kids in the U.S. develop strong literacy skills, confidence in their ability to read out loud and a love for reading!
“50% of adults in America cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level”
— National Center for Adult Literacy