Wrapping up 2020

As we close out 2020, a year like no other, our Reach Out and Read National family took some time to celebrate with a virtual holiday party, giving thanks for the caring community that makes our work possible. The zooming good time kicked off with customized backgrounds, an array of holiday sweaters and a “toastimonial” that Dr. Seuss would have been be proud of.

Read aloud by the author CEO Brian Gallagher, “Wrapping up 2020” poetically sums up the year. “Joy and good cheer – something we all need – are two things we celebrate at Reach Out and Read.”

May you and your family enjoy a restful holiday season and a healthy start to the New Year!

Wrapping Up 2020

The day has come, this virtual gathering, on the 17th day of December
As we approach the twilight of this year, we are certain to remember.

No doubt you’re all ready to move on from 2020.
But the internet has loved it, with its memes aplenty.

It’s all been said: “a year like no other”, “we’re all in this together”, “unprecedented times” …

And by now you may be wondering:  Is his whole toast full of rhymes?

As the pandemic was declared, Reach Out and Read whipped into action.
We realized this virus was no abstraction.

We closed offices, cancelled site visits, asked everyone to work from home.
And Perri, too, returned to the states from Italy (Florence, not Rome).

There was good news, as we set up home offices in the kitchen or whatever room.
We had already established that we were pros at navigating Zoom.

On the 20th of March, we held our first weekly COVID call
To come together as a community, in spite of it all.

These calls proved quite popular, so we kept hosting them — still do.
We invited special guests, who’ve all come — are even thrilled to.

Turns out we had many ideas and discussions to broadcast
And so we decided to host our own podcast.

We added new resources like a telehealth video
And completed it without an actual studio.

Through it all, there were doctors, NPs, and PAs who were there
For their families in need of pediatric care.

Schools were closed, parents nervous, what would all of this mean?
And what about all the hours my kids on that screen?

Reassurance and calm, in our providers we trust –
We supported our sites, like always, we must.

And we heard from our doctors, as they returned to their clinic,
They reached out to us, from the Atlantic to the Pacific:

“We’re grateful to you, Reach Out and Read, because look –
We get so much joy from giving our patients a book!

And whether it’s their first book or their hundred and twelfth,
Moments sharing books lead to early relational health!”

And so, my dear colleagues, many thanks for all you do throughout the year.
I wish that this holiday season brings you joy and good cheer.

Joy and good cheer – something we all need —
Are two things we celebrate at Reach Out and Read.
You help us succeed
On that, it can be agreed.
Thanks for taking the lead
On good work and good deed.
Oh yes, indeed,
You give it your all for Reach Out and Read.
And that is 100% guaranteed.

Happy Holidays!!