Literacy enlarges the world for children of all ages. Through our Extra-Ordinary Readers (EOR) Program, we encourage self-worth and forward thinking toward a bright future for homeless children through reading.
Each child who receives an Extra-Ordinary Birthdays celebration is also treated to a very special party favor-three brand new, age-appropriate books, chosen especially for them by our EOR team. Extra-Ordinary Readers supports literacy for all children regardless of socioeconomic status, as well as pride in ownership of a new book.
Books are collected for the program through our Amazon wish list, annual Barnes & Noble book fair and direct donations from other caring members of our community. We truly appreciate every tax deductible charitable contribution toward adventures in reading for homeless children!
Inspiring Parents experiencing homelessness through books of interest
Parents living in homeless shelters have typically experienced traumatic situations and challenges in life that have resulted in their “giving up.” Discouraged and perhaps lacking the ability to change their situation on their own, they need to be inspired and motivated.
Through EOB’s Parent Book Initiative, we want to inspire those parents, through the gift of a book of interest to them as part of their child’s birthday celebration. As EOB partners to celebrate their child, our outreach to the parents reminds them that it would not be possible without them and that they are a gift to be celebrated as well.
We recognize that reading is a key component of early literacy development and through providing a book to the parents, they can set an example of just how crucial this is by modeling the behavior of reading themselves, while at the same time changing the parent’s mindset and dejected spirit.
During the pandemic, children all over the country began engaging in virtual learning. Many parents had to set up makeshift classrooms and workspaces at home, equipped with the necessary technology and school supplies needed for virtual learning. While viewing the photos online, our minds immediately shifted to the thousands of children in the DC-metro area experiencing homelessness. For many of them, physically returning to school is a return to stability, guaranteed meals, easy access to educational materials and so much more. Due to the pandemic, there were challenged with gaps in technology, missed instruction, minimal tutoring support, and reduced access to wrap-around services and resources. Children experiencing homelessness matter and Extra-Ordinary Readers was committed to supporting them in any way we can. We will continue to provide this type of support when necessary, in the future.
Reading is fun! We aim to encourage our Extra-Ordinary Birthdays (EOB) participants to be excited about reading. Each child who receives an EOB party is provided an opportunity to become an Excited Reader. Once the child has read all three books they received as part of their birthday gift, they are awarded a prize and warm congratulations from the EOB team. We hope that an incentivized reading program will lead to a lifelong joy of reading fun.
P.O. Box 1109 | College Park, MD 20740
Extra-Ordinary Birthday’s mission is to transform the lives of homeless children by creating personalized birthdays that make them feel valued and inspire moments of delight in their lives.