Become a Partner


Read by 4th is Philadelphia’s early literacy movement and the nation’s boldest call to protect every child’s right to read. We are an ever-growing network of parents and partners working towards a shared vision that all children will be reading on grade level by the time they enter the 4th grade, guided by our shared understanding that the right to read is a critical issue of racial, educational and social justice.


Our work together is shaped by our love for Philly’s children and the values we share.

  • Collaboration: We leverage the wisdom of Philly’s families, communities, and the organizations that serve them.
  • Equity: Our children have the right to read. We know our fight for educational equity is one for racial and social justice.
  • Continuous Learning: We’re lifelong learners looking towards data-driven research and cultural insights. 
  • Urgency: There’s no time to waste. We seek to scale innovative solutions quickly and without sacrificing quality or stakeholder engagement.
  • Accountability: We’re honest, self-reflective, and open to listening. Our trusted relationships allow us to offer critique in ways that are respectful and productive.
  • Evolution: A holistic approach is a realistic approach. Our work responds to the ever-changing context of our world.


Read by 4th partners promise to do whatever it takes to protect every child’s right to read. As a collective, we work towards three core conditions we believe are essential to achieving our goals:

  • Families understand their power to help children with reading.
  • Communities and neighborhoods are literacy-rich.
  • Systems  (such as schools, ECE, OST and health) are fairly resourced and equitably designed.

Specific roles vary according to the gifts, resources, and needs of each partner. Common elements include:

  • Alignment: Participate regularly in a working group or committee that is relevant to your work;  proactively seek opportunities to align your efforts with the goals and strategies of the Read by 4th coalition, including related efforts of fellow partners. Reach out to Abby Thaker,, if interested in a working group. Contribute data to our quarterly partner survey or through another means by reaching out to Sam Fischer, Data and Evaluation Manager,
  • Promotion of campaign and partner resources: Share campaign resources with families, community members and organizations in your network (i.e. recruiting families for the Parent Council, distributing materials, hosting and leading parent workshops, or identifying local businesses to host book nooks or put up signage). Find resources at our partner portal:
  • Communication and feedback loops: Elevate what you’re learning from children and families and share their feedback and insights with fellow partners. Communicate openly with the Read by 4th staff at the Free Library and other partners about your priorities and needs so participation in the campaign is a mutually beneficial experience. Attend the quarterly Partner Network Meetings. Stay informed through campaign newsletters (sign up at the top of this page) and social media. Take our Partner Experience Survey (contact Sam Fischer for details).
  • Growing the movement: Identify and promote yourself or your organization as a Read by 4th partner, letting your stakeholders and network know about your role in the campaign.  Participate in social media conversations to magnify campaign activity. Sign a partner agreement. 


As managing partner of the Read by 4th campaign, the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation will:

  • Partnership and Convening: Convene working groups and committees to foster meaningful collaboration between partner organizations. Make connections between partners and other organizations or resources that would advance the goals of the campaign.
  • Field Building: Identify and share best practices and emerging research to support literacy development. Maintain a robust partner portal through which partners can access photos, graphics, logos, trainers guides, family resources and other materials.  
  • Data and Research: Facilitate the development of a shared measurement framework and promote its use among the partners. Track and report on progress of the campaign and ensure a culture of continuous improvement and accountability.
  • Communications:  Lead the development of communications resources that can be used by all partners. Engage partners and the public in social media conversations about early literacy to elevate the culture of literacy in Philadelphia. Celebrate partner organizations and their campaign-related work.


By signing the annual agreement below you are agreeing to uphold the values of the Read by 4th Campaign, engage in your partner role in a way that makes sense for your organization and aligns to the description above, and to expect the managing partner to uphold its role as described above.

Note: in the Directory of Partner Organizations section on the following pages, we will ask for more information about your specific role in the campaign, so that this information can be available to fellow coalition members. Click here for a pdf copy of the below partner agreement.