I was recently speaking with one of our Reach Out and Read medical champions who mentioned how much she “loves giving out a book” during her youngest patients’ check-ups. It was clear, as it so often is, how joyful this experience is, not only for the clinician but for the families who get to “take home the book.” But beyond that interaction in the exam room, I wanted to explore this experience further – what was this act of “giving a book” all about?
“It’s through those special moments around sharing a book when children feel that sense of love and warmth and being valued.
And so I asked, “What message do you think the parent or caregiver takes from this interaction? What do they leave the clinic thinking?” At first, the response was about the benefits of reading aloud and developing routines and language development. But then came the real richness and impact that we seek: “Because it’s through those special moments around sharing a book when children feel that sense of love and warmth and being valued. They know this time together with a book is different and special.” Quite a profound sentiment.
I then imagine that one interaction — that unique opportunity in that moment in the exam room to help build foundational relationships that mean so much to children – and multiply that by all the check-ups that occur on any given day, all the children and families, where that simple act of “giving out a book” is transformed into something quite impactful, meaningful, and long-lasting.
These moments exist because of supporters like you. Thank you for inspiring us to continue creating even more moments that will ripple throughout the months and years of these children’s lives.
Brian Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer