Meet Jacque DaSilva, Senior Accountant at Reach Out and Read National. Jacque is the proud mother of two amazing children, Cristiano and Adriana. Jacque juggles being a single, working mother of two children and making reading aloud with her children a priority. Jacque explained that because her daughter, Adriana, was a Reach Out and Read baby that her daughter now loves to read to her baby brother! We asked Jacque about her experience with and the importance of the Reach Out and Read program, both as a proud parent and valuable team member.
What do books mean to you?
Since I was a little girl, reading has always been important to me. My parents came to the United States three years before I was born, and they didn’t know English that well and they definitely didn’t know how to read in English. They turned to me as the translator for any paperwork that they received, as well as, communicator. Therefore, I started reading at a very early age but looking at it now, I think it was the best thing for me. As I was growing up, my reading time was my form of entertainment and it was my way of escaping from everything else that was transpiring. I was the oldest of five kids and they all turned to me for everything, so reading was my way of relaxing me.
What motivated you to join the Reach Out and Read National team?
My oldest daughter was actually a Reach Out and Read child before I started working at the National Headquarters and I remember just how much she looked forward to getting a book at her appointments. She would bring the books to her appointments and read to her pediatrician. These memories helped my decision to work for Reach Out and Read and knowing that other children will be able to experience this joy as well is definitely refreshing. I love my job. I have always loved numbers and it is more meaningful knowing the reward of giving other children the experience of joy that my daughter felt.
Tell us about motherhood and your experience reading aloud to your children?
I was in school working towards my associate degree when my daughter was young, and I felt that I was missing a lot of quality time during that period. So, in order to bond with her, I would work on my homework assignments and I would read my textbooks to her out loud. By the age of three, she would tell me that she had to do her homework while I was working on my homework. My mom reads to my son now and its amusing to watch as she barely reads English, so she makes up her own story by using the pictures in the books as well as tell the story in our language rather than in English.
Why are early literacy and healthy child development important to you?
Early literacy and health child development are important to me because I see how much it has helped/affected me as a child and then with my daughter and how much she loves reading now at the age of 11. I want my son to have this experience as well.
Why it is important to support Reach Out and Read mission?
Supporting Reach Out and Read’s mission is important because we are promoting the relationship between caregivers and the child through a trusted pediatrician and also promoting using a book as a form of entertainment in a society that is so driven by technology.
Every day pediatricians in every state partner with parents and caregivers to encourage positive parent child interactions to promote healthy brain development. In Georgia, we work with parents like Jacque to empower them to be the best they can be. Hats off to all the parents out there who are their children’s heroes!