Kristi Yamaguchi's Always Dream

kristi yamaguchi's Always Dream logo

The Always Reading Program

Building Futures Through
Literacy and Family Engagement

At Always Dream, we believe in the transformative power of family engagement for every child’s literacy journey. Early reading nurtures young minds, fostering imagination, building confidence, and empowering them to pursue their dreams. Research spanning decades underscores the pivotal role of family interactions, especially reading aloud, in shaping a child’s academic success.

The Reality of Literacy Today

The experience of poverty impacts literacy through:

Book Access

Book Access

In a community of privilege…there are 13 book titles for every one child…In the community of concentrated poverty…we found…about one book for every 300 children.


Neuman, S. B., & Moland, N. (2019). Book Deserts: The Consequences of Income Segregation on Children’s Access to Print. Urban Education, 54(1), 126-147.

Kindergarten Readiness

Reading Engagement

Less than 50% of young children are read aloud to by a family member each day.


Pfc, D. (2016, March 29). National Read Aloud survey shows most parents are not reading enough to their children. Durham Partnership for Children.

Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness

Only 29.6% of Fall 2023 Hawaiʻi kindergarteners demonstrated basic readiness for kindergarten entry.


Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. (2023, December 7). Hawaiʻi DOE Deputy Superintendent Report to the Student Achievement Committee. Hawaiʻi Department of Education. Retrieved April 15, 2024

Creating the Environment for Early Literacy Success

Our primary goals are to increase family reading at home, increase parent knowledge around early literacy, and increase children’s interest in books and reading. After participating in the Always Reading program, over 80% of families report that their child shows greater interest in reading (86%) AND asks to be read to more often (82%).
Creating the Environment for Early Literacy Success

Our Program is Built on Three Key Pillars

Equity through Technology

Equity through Technology

Each student receives a digital tablet and a data connection (if needed) for the program’s duration, ensuring equal opportunities for learning. Families keep the tablets once the program is complete.

Access to High-Quality Books

Access to High-Quality Books

Families gain unlimited access to a digital children’s library featuring 40,000 diverse titles and are gifted hard-copy books for their home libraries throughout the year.

family engagement

Family Engagement

Our local Book Coaches offer personalized support, guiding caregivers in integrating reading into their daily routines. Through regular check-ins and caregiver education sessions, we empower families to make reading a lifelong habit.

Where We Serve

We focus on areas in the San Francisco Bay Area and the state of Hawaiʻi that are rich in opportunity and potential. Our program operates in:


San Francisco Bay Area
Addressing literacy gaps in counties such as Contra Costa, Alameda, San Francisco, and Santa Clara.


Partnering with schools across Oʻahu , Molokaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island to enhance early literacy skills statewide.

always dream map

Our Evidence-Based Approach

Since 2012, Always Dream has been at the forefront of parent and caregiver engagement and early literacy. All of our program goals are tied to early literacy and youth development research. A growing body of research shows that family engagement and developing an early love of reading are predictors for student success. If children love to read and practice with their families regularly, they are more likely to see themselves as readers and be ready to learn in school.

In collaboration with the experts below, we’ve developed a curriculum grounded in this research and tailored to meet the needs of diverse communities.

  • Dr. P. David Pearson, Evelyn Lois Corey Emeritus Professor of Instructional Science & Professor of the Graduate School of Education, University of CA, Berkeley

  • Dr. Alison Billman, Director of Early Elementary Curriculum and Senior Researcher, the Learning Design Group, Lawrence Hall of Science

  • Olivia Leung, Program Officer, San Francisco Department of Early Childhood
Join us in shaping a future where every child has the opportunity to dream and succeed through the power of reading.

Thank you to our partners who help make Always Reading a reality for the families we serve!