What is it?
Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) brings children ages 6–10 and adults together to enjoy outstanding and thought-provoking picture books. Each 90-minute FAIR session includes an engaging, active reading of a book, followed by guided discussions on the book and on a principal theme found in the book. Each FAIR session is a part of a longer series, of either six or four weeks, that focuses on one of three overarching topics: character, relationships, or community. Each FAIR session also includes introductions to library services and light refreshments.
FAIR picture books—which families take home to keep—are scholar-chosen for literary and artistic qualities, as well as for their engagement with humanities themes that are meaningful and sometimes difficult for children. In addition to thematic considerations, the books draw on a variety of cultural traditions found in contemporary American—and global—communities. The books work together in the creation of multicultural, diverse, and inclusive syllabi.
Children ages 6–10 and their caregivers (including parents, grandparents, and foster parents) attend, along with a trained FAIR storyteller who facilitates each session.
What does this program do?
FAIR allows and encourages children and families to read together for pleasure and for the meaningful discussion that reading inspires.
FAIR counteracts trends that lead to achievement gaps and low literacy, especially in communities with high levels of poverty. FAIR meets families where they live and offers the space and time to experience reading books for enjoyment outside of school and to learn about public libraries. FAIR gives children and families books to keep, and FAIR storytellers model active reading and discussion in ways that families can continue at home.
FAIR provides support, services, resources, and outstanding picture books to families and communities, while also providing children and families with rich humanities experiences that can be continued and repeated.
What books are read?
FAIR storytellers and project directors may choose from three FAIR syllabi (each with a six-week and four-week option).
Where do I find a series?
Those interested in organizing a FAIR series in any Massachusetts city or town are encouraged to contact Abbye Meyer at Mass Humanities for more information and for support. Grant applications are available.
Who funds it?
Mass Humanities funds FAIR series throughout Massachusetts through our Discussion Grants program.
In 2016, FAIR is sponsored by the Staples Foundation and the Susan A. and Donald P. Babson Charitable Foundation.