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RI Reads at Home! - April Reading Challenge

One of the most important activities we can encourage students to do is read.

Even as we embark on a month of distance learning, we can still encourage students in the habit of reading every day. That is why Governor Raimondo and Commissioner Infante-Green have challenged all students in Rhode Island to read for at least 20-60 minutes every single day in the month of April

Here are the guidelines for the amount of uninterrupted reading students should strive to reach each day in April: 

  • Pre-K and Kindergarteners read or are read to at least 20 minutes
  • Grades 1-3 read at least 30 minutes
  • Grades 4-5 read at least 45 minutes
  • Grades 6-12 at least 60 minutes

We are excited to announce that Barnes & Noble will provide a prize package of books for a winning school in each of these divisions: early childhood (Pre-K), elementary (K-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12). 

We encourage families and educators to get creative and help us band together as a community to promote reading as a daily habit for our students. We are hoping you will help make sure this is a fun activity for students. 

You can watch Governor Raimondo read How to Be a Lion and read her letter to educators.  

Show us how the challenge is going by using the using the hashtags #RIReadsAtHome and #ReadTogether on Twitter (@RIDeptEd), Facebook and Instagram (@RIDeptEd)!

Please visit your local public library website for reading resources and services offered in support of the April Reading Challenge. Starting Monday, April 6, participating public libraries, listed below in the resources section, will provide free books for pickup for out-of-school reading; the number of books depends on the student’s reading level and availability of books. The service is available to all Rhode Island children, whether they attend public, private, or home school. All books must be ordered in advance; no service will be provided without prior arrangement. 

We are also thankful for Books Are Wings, Reach Out and Read, the RI Center for the Book, and the RI Festival of Children's Books and Authors in delivering books to districts and schools for pick up by families across the state. Although they are not accepting used book donations at this time for health/safety reasons, you can still make a financial donation on their websites so they can continue to purchase and distribute books to our families in need. Books Are Wings also has an option for donations to be designated to purchase books from local Rhode Island bookstores.

Reading Tips and Resources

Free Online Literacy Resources

The Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services is offering several online reading options:

  • List of Online Library Resources: includes e-books resources ordered by grade level (early elementary, elementary, middle and high school)
  • Ocean State Libraries Ezone: extensive ebook collections for kids and teens, including Spanish;available to all Rhode Islanders
  • School Library Websites: many school libraries have subscriptions to e-reading materials 
  • Tumble Book Library: provides e-books and audiobooks for all ages: a collection of animated talking picture books and read-alongs for early learners, quizzes, lesson plans, and educational games

Below are a number of online resources:

  • Actively Learn: hundreds of online books and interactive questions for students 2nd to 12th grade
  • Audible.com: Free children’s audio books and stories in six different languages that can stream on desktops, laptops, phones or tablets.
  • Epic!: Ages 12 and under. eBooks and quizzes in English and Spanish. Many of these books can be read aloud for accessibility. Please see Assistive Technology section for more audiobook options.
  • Flyleaf Publishing: Access to free decoding e-books for children who are not yet fluent readers.
  • Good Reads: Free, unlimited Kindle downloads for children aged 7-12.
  • Gutenberg: Free ebook project with a large section for secondary school students.
  • Listenwise: Curated audio content from public radio and podcasts that are open source or offering free trials.
  • Mims House: a children's book publisher offering e-books that are temporarily free. 
  • Pioneer Valley Books: Free access to their Book Builder to make personalized book choices based on reading level.
  • Raz Kids: Free for the rest of the school year, over 400+ e-books that students can listen to, read and even record themselves reading. Includes songs, nursery rhymes, poetry, and content in Spanish.
  • Read Works: online books, articles and reading passages for students K-12th grade.
  • Scholastic Learn at Home: online books and projects for students in Pre-K to 9th grade.
  • Unite for Literacy: This organization is run by educators and writers who want to bring the joy of reading to every home. They have published almost 200 digital books in the free library and have narrations available in multiple languages.

Public Library Resources

Please visit your local public library website for reading resources and services offered in support of the April Reading Challenge. Services will vary from library to library, though all public libraries provide access to online reading materials.

Participating public libraries will provide books for pickup for out-of-school reading; the number of books depends on the student’s reading level and availability of books. The service is available to all Rhode Island children, whether they attend public, private, or home school.

Service will start at participating libraries as early as Monday, April 6. All books must be ordered in advance; no service will be provided without prior arrangement. Pick up times will be scheduled by the individual libraries and will vary from library to library.   

 Participating Libraries:

Tips for Reading Development Outside of School

Tips for helping students who are learning to read:

  • Read, talk, sing, and communicate with your child in any of the languages that they understand.
  • Check your school library website to see what online resources are available through your school.
  • Visit online resources with your child (i.e. scholastic.com, startwithabook.com) to expose them to books.

Tips for Helping Developing/Independent Readers:


Fluency Strategies:

  • Read a passage of a book aloud while your child tracks the words with their finger. Then, have your child read the same passage to you.
  • Take turns reading with your child by alternating paragraphs.
  • Read aloud to your child. Then, have them read it back to you. Tell them to match their voice to yours.
  • Tell your child to read their favorite books and poems out loud over and over again. Practice getting smoother and reading with expression.
  • Have your child record their voice and listen to it as they read along with their text.

Reading Comprehension Strategies:


As your child reads independently:

  • Tell them to write down any questions they have on a post-it note.
  • Encourage them to keep a list of unknown or confusing words. Then, assist them in defining the words. 

After reading:

  • Talk to your child about what they read. If they properly understood the text, they should tell you about the main characters, problems, anything that surprised them, or other aspects of the story.
  • Have them sketch a scene.
  • Have them create a book quiz for someone else.
  • Have them create a character web explaining character relationships.

Questions To Ask Your Child about Reading:

  • What is this story about?
  • Who’s telling the story?
  • Who is your favorite character? What are their character traits?
  • Have you noticed any changes in the character? Identify evidence of it.
  • What is similar/different about two characters?
  • If you were to rewrite a section of the text, what would you change and why?