read-a-rama

Our mission is making the U.S. more literate, one child and one book at a time!

With the goal of fostering a love of reading in all children, Dr. Michelle H. Martin and Dr. Rachelle D. Washington founded Read-a-Rama over a decade ago to offer week-long day camps and 90-minute Read-a-Rama public programs for children ages 4 to 11. “Around the World,” “Splash-ragous,” “Incredible Edibles,” “Let’s Have a Ball,” and “Bug Eyes, Bird Brains & Bat Wings” are just a few of our exciting and fun themes.

our

vision

Camp Read-a-Rama is a non-profit that uses books for children and young adults as the springboard for all program activities. We provide fully-engaged year-round programming that seeks to improve literacy, particularly for children most in need of literacy intervention. Read-a-Rama programs are research-based and employ data to inform literacy and social emotional best practices.

our

beliefs

All children can reach their highest potential;

All programming should embrace all types of diversity;

100% engagement is good for all types of learners;

Serving the whole child and their families brings positive results;

Parents and guardians are a child’s first teacher and should always be involved in their child’s learning;

Meaningful relationships between adults and children around books and literacy-rich activities positively contribute to children’s learning;

Programs must engage community resources—human, organizational, financial, and more—to model literacy and celebrate lifelong learning;

The creation and growth of home libraries positively contribute to literacy development;

Cultural literacy comes through engaging community resources, such as field trips to local museums, businesses, and organizations;

Cultural competence is necessary for the staff and volunteers working in Read-a-Rama programs.

our

founders

Rachelle D. Washington, Ph.D

Dr. Washington holds a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education, specializing in Literacies and Children’s Literature, and a certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies. She has a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a passion for teaching and learning. For the past 25+ years, she has held faculty and administrative positions in P-20 educational settings, including her most cherished ones as an elementary school teacher, college professor and higher education administrator. Her familiarity with the unique educational needs of students in diverse communities is supported by advocacy, artistry and activism to bridge literacy and social justice.

Michelle H. Martin, Ph.D

A native of South Carolina, Michelle H. Martin is the Beverly Cleary Endowed Professor for Children and Youth Services in the Information School at the University of Washington, where she has taught current and future librarians since 2016. From 2011-2016, she was the inaugural Augusta Baker Endowed Professor for Children and Youth Services in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. She began hosting Read-a-Rama programs in 2001 as service learning for her students out of her love for both children’s literature and Girl Scouting. In 2008, during her 12 years as Clemson University English faculty, she met Dr. Washington, Clemson faculty in Teacher Education, and they co-taught a class on Ethnic Children’s Literature that resulted in the very first Camp Read-a-Rama. Martin is the author of Brown Gold: Milestones of African American Children’s Picture Books, 1845-2002.

our

board members

Dr. Hala Annabi, Associate Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 

Melzina Canon, Accountant, Columbia, SC 

Dr. Clayton Copeland, Director, Laboratory for Leadership in the Equity of Access and Diversity, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 

Dr. Michael Eisenberg, Dean Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 

Dr. Michelle H. Martin, Professor, University of Washington, Seattle , WA 

Heather McCue, Librarian, Richland Library, Columbia, SC 

Craig Seasholes, School Librarian, Dearborn Park International School, Seattle, WA 

Jane Singer, MLIS Student, University of Washington, Seattle ,WA

Elise Scott, Pastor, Ballard First Lutheran Church, Seattle, WA

Laura Simeon, Young Readers' Editor, Kirkus Reviews, Seattle, WA

our

ex-officio board members

Monique M. Law, Greenville, SC 

Dr. Tharini Viswanath, Atlanta, GA

our

partners

IT TAKES A WHOLE VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD
--African Proverb

  • North Spokane Public Library, Spokane, WA 
  • Dearborn Park International School, Seattle, WA 
  •  Compass Housing Alliance, Seattle, WA 
  • SC Center for Children’s Books and Literacy, Columbia, SC 
  • Clemson University Outdoor Laboratory, Clemson, SC