I love this program! Sending books home to children with the ability to help them tell their family the stories is amazing.

—preschool teacher, Rural Resources Community Action Head Start, Newport

My son loves the Please, Mr. Panda books. He can read all of them front to back with little to no help, when two years ago he couldn't read at all. Being in this program really helped him come out of his shell and thrive into the talkative little boy he is today.

—parent of a preschooler, Walla Walla Center for Children and Families

Children are asking deeper questions. You can see the little wheels in their heads turning more. We get more exciting, meaningful questions. They are more confident when reading aloud or with friends.

—Head Start preschool teacher

My child has been excited about reading more since she has been receiving these books.

—parent of a preschooler

Story Leaders

Story Leaders is a preschool reading and story time program that trains educators and families in evidence-based hear-and-say reading techniques (also called shared or dialogic reading). This model rapidly develops children’s vocabulary and language skills for kindergarten readiness. Each preschooler is given eight books that they have read together in class to take home to help build their home libraries and to reinforce the home–school connection.

Delivered in Head Start and ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) preschool classrooms, which serve families earning up to 110–130 percent of the federal poverty line, Story Leaders supplements existing curriculum and resources, helping to dismantle the literacy achievement gap that is too often experienced by children of color and children from under-resourced communities before that gap becomes irreversible. And it helps teachers, families, and children engage in meaningful, joyful reading together!

Resources for Educators Resources for Families
Thorndyke ECEAP 2018 – 1st book distr

2022–2023 SCHOOL YEAR


books distributed


preschools serviced


children helped




Calling all Story Leaders

If you’re a Head Start/ECEAP educator in Washington State interested in bringing Story Leaders to your preschool, please contact us.

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