Reading to End Racism (RER) is designed to engage students through interactive presentations led by trained volunteer readers. Students have an opportunity to listen to literature, personal stories and insights regarding racism, participate in discussions about racism, and gain reinforcement about the power of literature. The program has been reviewed and approved by the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD). 98% of students reported that because of lessons learned in RER, they will be respectful to all people.
Student, Douglass Elementary
Reading to End Racism (RER) was originally founded in the late 1990s by a group of retired local teachers. They had seen racism and discrimination in their classrooms and wanted to create a safer, more supportive educational environment for local students. YWCA Boulder County became involved with the program in 2006, originally providing office space and eventually adopting the program to help it continue and grow.
Since 2011, RER has reached more than 25,000 students in Boulder County.
“I think racism is wrong because we are all the same on the inside.” — Student, Sanchez Elementary
“I will always be an ally.” — Student, Flatirons Elementary
“This is the best presentation of what racism is about and how to recognize it in one’s self and others.” — Teacher, Heatherwood Elementary
“I thought it was a great lesson and super-appropriate for first graders. Honoring culture and differences within our community is culturally responsive teaching!” — Teacher, Whittier Elementary
Reading to end racism using stories to teach about discrimination – Daily Camera, November 23, 2019
“Keep the story going”: How community volunteers nudge elementary students to take on racism – Chalkbeat Colorado, October 31, 2019
Rebuilding bridges: YWCA Reading to End Racism program starts the conversation young – Boulder Weekly, May 23, 2019
RER volunteers in action