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Why Traveling Stories?2018-09-07T20:27:37+00:00

SO YOU’RE WONDERING WHY WE’RE HERE….

WE’RE GLAD YOU ASKED!

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, City Heights, Imperial Beach, Vista and La Mesa.

TRAVELING STORIES MISSION

Our mission is to empower kids to outsmart poverty by providing the literacy and money management skills they need to become productive members of society.

We believe that books are a necessity, not a luxury. The ability to read and write is a human right. We are not afraid to look foolish in our effort to outsmart poverty. We believe there is more than one kind of poverty and more than one kind of hunger. It is important to feed a child’s stomach, but we must not forget their mind and imagination.

Through our mobile StoryTent program we teach kids money management skills and help them fall in love with reading by the 4th grade. At the StoryTents, kids pick out books that interest them and read out loud with a volunteer. Volunteers are an integral part of our mission; without them, the kids wouldn’t be able to actually practice and improve their reading skills. Not only is our mission to bridge poverty gaps through the means of literacy, but also to build up community through serving those around us in need.

3 kids cropped with books

WHY TRAVELING STORIES IS UNIQUE

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We emphasize the joy of reading.

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We let readers select books that interest them.

We offer financial rewards for reading.

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We meet readers in their communities.

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We engage the entire family.

THE VALUES THAT DRIVE US

Creativity

We use fresh approaches to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading. Never settling on our first idea we continuously evaluate our programs. We are not afraid to take risks and make mistakes in pursuing innovative solutions to reduce illiteracy and poverty.

Enjoyment

Books open up new horizons that take us on adventures of endless fun and fulfillment. Through our programs and libraries, we share our passion for reading. We carry this spirit into our work and relationships.

Empowerment

We believe that literacy empowers people to find their own solutions to social and economic challenges. With this, we design programs that teach critical thinking and self-confidence. We thrive to build a community of learners who break cycles of poverty and injustice.

Service

We embrace diversity and build relationships with flexibility and respect. Our partnerships are built upon reciprocity and the recognition that we are always learning from each other enabling us to transform lives by defeating economic and intellectual poverty.

Transparency

We are committed to open communication and expressing our beliefs while respecting the opinions of others. We practice transparency in developing and operating our libraries and programs. We work hard to be congruent in all we say and do.

Write Yourself Into the Story:

Give a Child the Chance to Fall in Love with Reading Today

HOW IT WORKS

—1—
KIDS CHECK IN AND READ BOOKS

kids checking in at traveling stories storytent

—2—
KIDS EARN BOOK BUCKS

traveling stories book bucks

—2—
KIDS TRADE BOOK BUCKS FOR PRIZES

cropped teddy bear with traveling stories volunteer shirt

Kids visit the program voluntarily and check in. Then they pick out a book that interests them and read one-on-one with a volunteer.

For every book read, the child earns a book buck. Kids are encouraged to negotiate for more bucks if the book is challenging.

With their book bucks, kids can buy prizes which range from inexpensive items like mechanical pencils to more valuable items like basketballs or field trips.

WHAT WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH

  • Equip children with the skills they need to outsmart poverty in their own lives and their own communities.

  • Improve the reading levels of at-risk children by the fourth grade.

  • Inspire children to fall in love with reading by the fourth grade.

  • Teach children basic money management skills.

5 EYE-OPENING ECONOMIC IMPACTS ON LITERACY STATS

0%
of Low-Income Children Are Not Proficient Readers
0%
of Low-Income Children Do Not Have Books at Home
0%
of American Children Are Not Proficient Readers by the 3rd Grade
0X
More Likely to Not Graduate if Not Proficient Readers by 3rd Grade
0%
of American Jobs are Ineligible to High School Dropouts

WHERE WE’RE INSPIRING A LOVE FOR READING

El Cajon, CA | City Heights, CA | North Park, CA | Imperial Beach, CA | Vista, CA | Turlock, CA | Nimule, South Sudan | El Transito, Nicaragua | Sunzal, El Salvador | Cebu, Philippines | Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Traveling Stories World Map

SUCCESS STORY

We’re seeing success at our programs. 100% of parents surveyed said the StoryTent improved their child’s reading level.

  • Our goal is to operate 10 weekly programs by the year 2020

  • This will allow us to impact at least 500 kids per program per year

  • Our team has grown to include 3 full time employees, 1 part time employee, 1 intern and over 300 volunteers

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