Traveling Stories believes that every child should have the opportunity to fall in love with reading. 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 provides 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. The weekly StoryTent program model was developed using research on the positive impacts of reading with children in a safe, nurturing environment and designed to engage children in a way that is appealing, beneficial, and fun. The goal is to provide children the opportunity to read books outside of a school setting in order to experience the joy of reading and the mission of Traveling Stories is to empower kids to outsmart poverty by providing the literacy and money management skills they need to become productive members of society.
Traveling Stories serves 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. They currently serve over 3,000 local kids a year by the weekly programs in El Cajon, City Heights, Imperial Beach, Vista and La Mesa. Recently, the San Diego Union Tribune published this article about the club.
The Parker Foundation awarded Traveling Stories a $25,000 matching grant in July, 2019 to support a full-time Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator position.