When a father of a newborn sits quietly in a rocker with his son swaddled tightly and reads Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, something magical happens. A bond grows between them through book sharing, connecting the two of them emotionally and physically. This connection grows every time they read together, building a healthy foundation the child needs to not only grow-up but thrive.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Emilie Buchwald
Books and reading aloud are a child’s earliest exposure to language, learning, culture, art, and the world around them. At Reach Out and Read, we believe all families should have the tools and information they need to make reading aloud a daily routine. We integrate books into pediatric practices, advise families about the importance of reading with their children, and share books that serve as a catalyst for healthy childhood development.
The stories we experience shape the people we become!
Children’s books also shape what children think about themselves, their peers, and the world they are beginning to explore. A book is just the beginning, and what children see – and do not see – in books can have a lasting impression on their values, attitudes, and actions. Books that reflect who they are, commonly referred to as mirrors, can make a positive impact on their racial identity formation, self-worth, and belonging. For all children, books that are windows into the experiences of others can increase empathy, acceptance, and inclusivity.
It is our goal that Reach Out and Read books reflect the widest possible representation of the children and families we serve, with stories that are relevant and engaging, accurately reflect and affirm a diverse range of identities, cultures, and histories, and contain illustrations that are colorful and recognizable to young children.
The books we provide reflect our mission to give young children a foundation for success through the power of early literacy in promoting the healthy development of young children. The true foundation for success involves not only the mind and development of an individual child but the creation of a healthy, accepting society in which children of all means and backgrounds can flourish.