ReadAskChat was developed with a rich understanding of the kinds of social, emotional, cognitive, and language-oriented experiences that brain science and education research confirm all children need to begin school ready to learn. By harnessing the power of caregiver-child bonding, ReadAskChat delivers a profound learning innovation that immerses families in a sustained process of dialogic reading.

ReadAskChat is a learning system for parents as much as for children, who we expect will internalize the dialogic reading process along with their children.


Organizations integrating ReadAskChat into their initiatives supporting children and families receive our train-the-trainer materials. The modules bring to life our conviction that all parents and caregivers can make a significant contribution to their child’s education.

Our learning modules involve guided practice in interacting with ReadAskChat stories, poems, songs, and science features. Beginning with the favorite action rhyme, “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” adults see how the embedded conversation starters can empower them to engage their children in open-ended, back-and-forth conversation around meaning-rich artwork and text. Why doesn’t Itsy give up going up the water spout? A variety of answers are possible!

ReadAskChat has built-in metrics to provide service professionals with data to evaluate their implementations. These data will be useful in reporting to funders on the efficacy of their ReadAskChat implementation and the consequent child and adult learning.

For more information on our train-the-trainer modules, please contact us at


The ReadAskChat process is simple and fun: Read, Read Again, Ask, and Chat. ReadAskChat’s on-demand conversation starters will help you get the most out of each session. Here are are some general tips:

Choose a special time to ReadAskChat every day—maybe after dinner or just before bed. Your child will look forward to this special time with you.

Ask specific questions. Ask questions about the story, like: Why is the Old Man living with birds in a tree? The ReadAskChat conversation starters will get you started.

Encourage your child’s imagination. You may be surprised at what you hear!

Enjoy the art. Look closely at the pictures and chat about what you see. Make up your own stories about what is going on. 

Have fun and be as silly as you like! Add sound effects, singing, acting out—whatever you like. Your child will learn that reading is fun!

Point and label. When you talk about something, point to it. Ask your child to point too: Can you point to the dancing mouse? This will help your child learn the meaning of new words.

Add ideas.  Help grow your child’s vocabulary. If your child says doggie, you could say Yes! That’s a brown doggie with long ears.

Go back and look for new details. Children love hearing stories over and over again. ReadAskChat prompts help make every session a little different each time.

Connect the story to your child’s own life. Ask What would you do with a special leaf? How is Froggy’s bathtime like your bathtime?

Be patient. Your child’s attention span will grow over time. If your child seems restless, try reading the next story.

Stay flexible. Don’t worry about following the prompts exactly. The most important thing is to respond to your child’s interests and curiosity.

Try to ReadAskChat at least 10–15 minutes every day!

Ease into the next level. ReadAskChat enables you to change level when you decide your child is ready. For a baby, you will be doing most of the talking, answering your own questions, and playing together. Your toddler can point out characters in the art, or add details to the stories you tell. As children grow older, they will want to tell their own stories and point out familiar words. They will absorb how reading works (e.g., reading from left to right) and will be eager to read on their own.