In the fall of 1992, the company’s founders – Monty Haas and Laurie Joy Haas – began giving family literacy workshops to parents, librarians, early childhood educators and childcare providers under the name The Reading Railroad. In 2000, the Reading Railroad published Read it Aloud! A parent’s guide to sharing books with young children. With help from volunteers, interns and consultants, the company progressed, and, in 2002, Words That Cook came into being, eventually gaining three additional full-time employees. The Reading Railroad continues as the publishing arm of our more comprehensive educational media and courseware company, Words That Cook, serving both parents and professionals.
By the end of 2002 the company had secured broadcasting on NETV (PBS) throughout the state of Nebraska and on more than 70 cable access stations throughout the country with an audience of more than 10 million viewers. Since then, adding ETV (PBS) Arkansas, WNED (PBS) Buffalo-Toronto And Virginia and West Virginia to our broadcast reach.
The company unveiled its Web site (www.wordsthatcook.org) shortly thereafter, offering free resources to the public: Recipes for Success™ – creative tips, tools and techniques for bringing literacy to life in the classroom and at home, Recommended Booklists from children’s literature expert Dr. Miriam Marecek and Potluck of Fun – resources and activities related to the book recommendations.
By then the company’s book, Read it Aloud! had received the endorsement of the International Reading Association, the world’s largest literacy organization. Then in 2005, Words that Cook! Parenting with children’s books, a half-hour educational television program, earned one of the highest honors, the International Reading Association Broadcast Media Award for Television.
In January 2007, an invaluable partnership wsas forged with the Massachusetts Association for the Education of Young Children, (MassAEYC) an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children — an organization whose mission is to promote excellence in early education.