A Guide to Storytime

A guide to storytime

A Guide to Storytime is Reading by 9’s annual bilingual reading guide for parents and educators. It supports young kids as they develop their reading and literacy skills, which are crucial for future academic success.

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Dear parents and teachers,

Now more than ever, we recognize the important role that parents, guardians and educators play in children’s success in literacy and learning. With the pandemic, this role has been made more challenging. As we move forward with teaching and learning, whether in math, science or art, we know that literacy provides a crucial foundation. Children need literacy to grow in all aspects of their lives and to understand the world around them.

It’s essential that we ensure our children receive the support they need. Even before the pandemic, far too many children lacked the critical skills needed to engage with reading. More than half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District who took the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress in 2019 did not meet English language arts and literacy standards. This year, students are significantly less prepared than in the past, since the virus unexpectedly pushed schooling online in March.

Reading opens doors. Reading by 9, a program of L.A. Times Public Affairs, seeks to promote and support youth and family literacy. We’re here to help unlock the access and enrichment that literacy can provide.



This year’s Reading by 9 annual parent reading guide was developed in partnership with Ready, Set, Read!, a nonprofit project of Community Partners dedicated to guiding parents through helping young children build a foundation of literacy skills. The guide, available in English and Spanish, is available for free and has tips and ideas for incorporating reading into a child’s daily life. Its recommendations — books, literacy resources and more — highlight the value of encouraging students to read about subjects that interest them.

The guide is distributed to parents and teachers throughout the United States with the support of donors and help of community-based organizations and schools. It’s also available online at

If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Reading by 9 Fund as we strive to expand literacy resources for families:

Thank you for reading!

Chris Argentieri
President and Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Times


Learn about Ready, Set, Read!

Dear parents, Did you know that what you do at home, more than what happens at school, can determine the size of your child’s vocabulary by second grade?

The nonprofit organization supports parents with childhood literacy across Los Angeles.



Tips and Tricks


Math and Literacy

Math is all around us.

You can incorporate math and numbers into your conversations with children using books, your environment and the everyday objects around you. Mathematical literacy is having the ability to use numbers to solve real-world problems. Math is a tool we use to understand the world we live in.


Ages 0-4

Ages 5-6

Ages 7-9


Science and Literacy

Science is all around us.

When your child is asking “Why?” or “What is …?” they express their curiosity about how things work and why things are the way they are.

Children naturally use science to explore the world starting at birth. They use their five senses to explore the world and understand its rules. This curiosity leads to experimentation, a process by which we determine something. For example, babies drop toys to explore the concept of gravity and put things in their mouths to explore their world.


Ages 0-4

Ages 5-6


Ages 7-9


Art and Literacy

Art makes life beautiful.

How many of your children notice the illustrations in their books? Art is a powerful tool for helping children develop literacy skills. It allows children to make meaning of the words they see on the page. You can reinforce this concept by talking about the pictures with them.

Making art provides joy, helps develop fine motor skills and leads to discussion, exploration and growth. All art is a form of self-expression and a way for children to communicate their ideas and feelings.


Ages 0-4

Ages 5-6

Ages 7-9


Local resources

There are many organizations around Los Angeles and Orange counties that families can connect with online to access literacy resources and support services. Take a look at these organizations.

Literacy Programs


1714 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 413-3388

Access Books
(310) 284-3452

Common Sense Media
1100 Glendon Ave. 17th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90024

CSUN L.A. Times Literacy Center
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-7394

News Literacy Project
(714) 479-0294

Parentis Foundation
24012 Calle de la Plata, Suite 400
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 305-2716

Reading Is Fundamental
7250 Bandini Blvd., Suite 209
Commerce, CA 90040
(323) 890-0876

Reading Partners
3452 E. Foothill Blvd., Suite 315
Pasadena, CA 91107
(213) 399-8599

Reading to Kids
1600 Sawtelle Boulevard, Suite 210
Los Angeles, California 90025
(310) 479-7455

Ready, Set, Read!
1000 N. Alameda St., No. 240
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(818) 570-2838

Read to a Child
10940 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 208-5300

The Book Foundation
5429 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 746-5800

Support Servies

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors
1000 N. Alameda St., No. 240
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 346-3216

Allies for Every Child
12120 Wagner St.
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 397-4200

Families Forward Learning Center
980 N. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 792-2687

Hands Together
201 Civic Center Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 479-0294

Koreatown Youth and Community Center
3727 W. 6th St., No. 300
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 365-7400

Mar Vista Family Center Preschool
5075 S. Slauson Ave.
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 390-9607

Mexican American Opportunity Foundation
6113 Clara St.
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(562) 928-1357

Orange Children & Parents Together
1063 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92867
(714) 639-4000

Pathways LA
3325 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 427-2700

Proyecto Pastoral Centro de Alegria
420 N. Soto St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 446-0066

South Central LAMP
892 E. 48th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(323) 234-1471


Los Angeles Public Library
72 branches throughout the city
(213) 228-7000

Los Angeles County Library
86 branches throughout the county
(323) 264-7715

Orange County Public Libraries
33 branches throughout the county
(714) 566-3000


This supplement did not involve the editorial or reporting staff of the Los Angeles Times except where noted.

To order additional copies or download a digital version of the 2020 parent reading guide, visit The guide is free to parents, educators and organizations working with children and families. To contact us with comments and questions or to receive more information, email

Los Angeles Times Public Affairs manages philanthropy, community engagement and corporate social responsibility at the nation’s largest metropolitan daily news organization. We broaden perspectives, empower storytellers and inspire our community to question and transform the world around them. For more information, visit

For over two decades, Ready, Set, Read! has been bringing families together and making brighter futures possible through our bilingual literacy program that empowers parents to read aloud with their children. Partnering with preschools and kindergartens in underserved Los Angeles communities, we provide free literacy workshops and books to parents and donate classroom libraries to our partner schools. For more information visit