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Raising Readers

Teaching parents how to create high quality learning environments at home.

Mother and a Child

Raising Readers

To UnSchooling
From Schooling

If the majority of the violent communication, threats, bribes, punishments, and/or therapy sessions in your household revolve around schooling, then your child's schooling is not free. It has come with a cost. -Nikolai Pizarro

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Raising Readers

From Schooling
To UnSchooling

BIPOC - led pandemic pods and microschools

Answering the call to our nation's crisis in education by building BIPOC-led pods, micro schools, and communities of care. To learn more or join a community click here. 

The Foundation Bag™ 

By @RaisingReaders

A perfect companion to our Cheat Code framework (below). 


Foundation Bags include: (7) phonics instruction booklets, (1) pictures booklet, (1) illustrated nursery rhymes booklet, (1) reading words booklet, and (1) instructional video guide.


I created this product and framework to empower parents with the ability to have agency over the early literacy instruction.


The early literacy and literacy instruction market as a whole, is set up to prey on parents' hopes and good intentions by selling them things without a cohesive understanding on how we teach children to write, read, and comprehend; particularly, before children enter school. 


But, every time we put materials in front of children that are developmentally inappropriate or do not follow best practices, we don't just waste time and resources. We also introduce failure and disconnection to a young child's life and we subject him/her/them to the mercy of the school system. 

It is my call to disrupt that! 

Parents who have a clear understanding and tools that work and are developmentally appropriate can protect and stay connected to young children through the literacy instruction process and gift them one of the greatest tools in their self-directed journey, the gift of sharing and exchanging thoughts and feelings through print. 

The framework and this Foundation Bag equip parents with the tools they need to be assured they are building the SKILLS children need to learn to read phonetically (not by memory), write, and comprehend when it is developmentally appropriate. Freed from that emotional bandwidth, the can focus on play!

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To order click here

Every Teacher's Dilemmas

FREE Early Literacy Framework:

The Cheat Code

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1. Teach letter sounds first before letter names so that children default to phonics! 

2. Develop a child's ear through songs, rhyming, auditory, games, and clapping. If they know the letter sounds and can hear them...they will be able to ... are you seeing where we are going

3. Cultivate a home culture rich in vocabulary that includes story telling, singing, nature exploring, and connecting emotionally.

4. Read books (pictures, signs, recipes, instructions, and magazines too) and write daily. Don't tell them reading is important with more work. Show them the utility and joy of print.

5. Encourage inquiry -- ask questions while reading and in your day-to-day interactions. Take an interest in your child's world and connection to it. Let children's overflow with things they want to say. 

6. Use WRITING to teach reading. Encourage word building through sound knowledge but also drawing, story making, and preparing their hands for proper pencil grip. Writing is centers production. It is personal and creative. Reading is a consumer sport. Lead with writing. 

7. The right time to read is when your child is READY to decode (by building steps 1-6) rather than read through sight and memorization. Hold off on sight words and word lists until children are exploring and enjoying writing and sounding out phonetically. 

Follow the child. Model literacy. Have fun.

Children that know their letter sounds and can hear them in words, have words to describe their worlds, feel valuable and capable, have a connection to print, are safe, and have are ready...write...and they read. Educators know this. Now, you do too. 

I believe having a framework for reading instruction is a human right and should be as normalized and distributed as basic dental hygiene information. This is why my framework is free. However, if you benefit from this free framework, consider supporting my Neighborhood Forest School financially and sharing The Cheat Code with every family you know. Every parent should have this framework because it creates agency for households instead of dependence to a system. For more info use the contact us form below or give donation click here:

ART Excursion


Join our Black Art Excursion (BAE), a free mixed age, adaptive artsed curriculum. Coming soon...LAE. 

Black Art



Science and history prove that when we change the way we treat babies, we can break prison and poverty cycles. Ring the Alarm presents well-documented data and arguments to this effect. This text is both a complete 0-5 (yrs) caregiver's guide for parents of color as well as a community call to action. It is a book for everyone who really cares about the state of black and Latino people and children in this country.

The Hope of Black and Brown Communities: A Zero to Five Parenting Guide for Low Income Black and Latino Caregivers

Ring The Alarm
By Nikolai Pizarro
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As soon I picked up this book, it spoke to my soul. From the first words I read on the page, I knew that someone was speaking to me, about my experiences of being a father, and what I intuitively knew was the best way to give my son what he needs for his best life. Nikolai's writing is pure, simple, easy. It sets you at ease. When I learned something new from her sharing, I embraced it. I was learning, and I felt as if she was with me, as I read it. I was set at ease that until this point I had not learned all that I could know, and that the process was ongoing.

Nikolai talks about 0-5 being vital. If you child is 5 plus, USE IT! My son was 12 when I picked up Ring the Alarm. I read the book, and made the changes to our lives. I just made it. Vegetable smoothies. Classical music. 15 minutes of reading. I embraced it all.

And when I had a question, well, the book is interactive in this way: You can just reach out and contact her. You are going to connect directly with her. Social Media is not a marketing tool for Nikolai.It is a connection tool to empower parents so that children can be empowered.

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Chef Oya

In a very short time, I will be a Mother. Ring the Alarm is one of the reasons why I am no longer absolutely terrified at the thought of parenting as I was 6 months ago. There are THOUSANDS of pregnancy and parenting books and none of the ones I've come across personally have quite embodied the spirit and challenges that my grandparents faced while raising my parents or the struggles my own parents endured while raising me and my brothers. And, none of them have spoken directly to ME with regard to establishing my very own traditions and approach to breaking these negative cycles. For good. To be blunt, I am not an upper-middle class married white woman floating on the bliss cloud of new parenthood. My biggest stress is not choosing the color and style of my nursery, but making absolute certain that my own child not be brought up in an enviornment wrought with hopelessness. A brand new paradigm begins with me and my daughter, one full of the tools and resources we need to start fresh right NOW, while she's still in my womb. Diet makes a difference in everything, a peaceful and stress-free enviornement makes a difference in temperament, actual conversations make a difference in language development and communication skills. And while, I myself have been able to overcome many of the issues my parents never did, my daughter will have an even better head start. Ring the Alarm came at EXACTLY the right time for ME. It is an amazing resource to me and my community. I plan on sharing it with every single mother I meet. Thank you Nikolai, you love us and our babies. Your work clearly shows so.

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Jonarl Christopher

I've purchased 3 copies of "Ring the Alarm" and I'm making another purchase tonight. I didn't think this book would 'move' me the way it did. I follow the author on Instagram and wanted to show support. Little did I know I'd be so inspired to give the book to others. "Ring the Alarm" is an easy read and is packed with a copious amount of invaluable information.

Black and Brown youth are under attack and it is imperative that we arm them with the tools to not only combat the status quo but also equip them with the necessary skills to soar and be successful.

If you are a parent, caregiver, or a tío like me, buy this book and discuss it with your family. Don't be afraid to dialogue with folks about our choices as a community. We must enter this with zero judgment because as the author writes, "I did not have a tool at hand. " She understands that a lot of the mistakes made aren't our fault, but that's no excuse to continue them.

We have to be better for our kids and our community. The change starts with us.













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