Since Deb and I are involved in education, we like to support educational charities. Literacy is especially important since it provides the foundation for lifelong learning.
As soon as I heard about Reach Out and Read, I knew I wanted to get involved:
Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud in pediatric exam rooms across the nation.
My playgroup adopted our local location–a county clinic that serves children on Medicaid, all of whom are living below the poverty line and some of whom are homeless. They had a grant for the program, but that had recently dried up and they were relying on community donations–and the nurses were buying books out of their own pocket.
While I was chatting with the nurse in charge of the program, she asked if I could recommend a literacy-related DVD for the waiting room and I immediately thought of the LeapFrog Talking Words Factory, one of my daughter’s favorites. A quick e-mail to our good friends at LeapFrog and I had two copies each of Talking Words Factory, Talking Letters Factory, and Let’s Go to School for the Reach Out and Read clinic to deliver along with the hundreds of books we collected.
The nurses were so ecstatic, talking about how happy the kids are to have their very own book and how they cannot wait to start playing the LeapFrog videos. Their love for the children and for reading was beautiful, I cannot wait to go back and bring them more books for the kids.
You can donate books and money and volunteer at many local Reach Out and Read locations. Just give them a call and support literacy.