A Reading Refuge is a collection of used and new books, a crate to store them, and a comfy seat to enjoy a good story.
We encourage families to read together, so multilingual children receive books in their home language and English.
A Reading Refuge is also safe space set aside at home that kids can enjoy reading.
Hermenegildo Paulo is an Angolan-American educator, Portuguese interpreter, and education consultant who works in Portland, ME. A recent immigrant and English Language Learner himself, Hermenegildo believes that reading is the key to overcome educational inequity and help level the playing field for all kids. Hermenegildo runs Reading Refuges with the assistance of his wife, Rachel Maloney Hawkins, and a team of hard working volunteers.
In the summer of 2019, Hermenegildo saw an opportunity to connect books to readers-in-need at Reiche School where he works in Portland, ME. Since then he has gifted nearly 100 home libraries to students. Hear more about his journey on the Highest Aspirations podcast below.
We want all students to have equal access to reading, at school and at home.
Having books at home increases the likelihood that kids will read.
More reading time has been shown to improve not only literacy, but numeracy, problem solving, and empathy as well!
Reading at home has the power to help kids overcome learning gaps at school. If kids are reading with families or caring adults at home for 20 minutes a day, they hear 1.8 Million more words annually than their peers. Just 80 books in a home can change predicted education levels by more than three years!
Although libraries are a vital part of our community, during this time of COVID-19 we see the importance of every child's home to be equipped with good learning resources.
YES! If you have an elementary or middle school child in need of books in Southern Maine please contact us below. Our team will reach out to you and make it happen!
Also, we are always looking for donations of new and gently used books, for every reading level. If you have some to share, please reach out as well. Thanks!
Your contribution will help us get more home libraries to young readers. We greatly appreciate your support!
Let us know if your child in Southern Maine would like a Reading Refuge! We are always looking for volunteers to help us as well!