Read To Your Baby Every Day
The Read with Me initiative is designed to encourage conversations about reading between health care providers and new parents. The program is modelled after Reach Out and Read, an American non-profit that serves 4.2 million children annually by training doctors to promote the importance of reading to parents of young children.
Reading to babies contributes to the development of their growing brains.
The program was created to reduce as many barriers to parents reading aloud as possible while providing them with information from a source they trust.
Since its launch in 2016, Read with Me has successfully:
- Raised awareness among parents and caregivers on the importance of reading aloud and how it connects to healthy brain development
- Raised awareness among health professionals and engaged with them on the importance of reading
- Increased access for families to high-quality, age-appropriate books
When you read to infants, it can also help language development as they are taking in information and beginning to learn about speech patterns.
The Read with Me initiative is a collaboration between Calgary Reads, Alberta Health Services (AHS) Public Health, and generous community partners to support early literacy development.
It is delivered by Calgary Reads to encourage conversations about reading between health care providers and new parents and to increase book ownership at regular immunization visits. The program is modelled after “Reach Out and Read,” an American nonprofit that serves 4.5 million children annually by training doctors to “prescribe” to parents the importance of reading to their young children.
Since July 2016, the program has distributed 25,280 copies of “Read Me a Book” and accompanying bookmarks with parent tips for engaging with their children. Following an initial pilot with doctors at a maternity clinic, we successfully implemented the program in five AHS Public Health Well Child clinics.
Watch these videos for tips on reading to your baby:
When you read aloud, synapses connect between your infant’s neurons, positively affecting development in many areas.
How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Our Milestones Chart will help give you an idea of where your child is in their development.
Our partnership with Scholastic Canada has made it possible for us to make our dollars go further. For each book we order, we receive it at half price and they give us an additional copy of the same book for free.
The number of books we have distributed to families since starting the program
Early Childhood Coalitions of Alberta
Thanks to the legacy gift of the Calgary & Surrounding Community Early Childhood Coalitions of Alberta, we are able to support this initiative into another calendar year. The dedication of these community members to advancing early childhood health and well-being cannot be underestimated, and we are so grateful that their impact will continue to be felt after their closure.
The number of Calgary Clinics that are currently working to distribute books at check-ups
Meet Barbara Reid
Barbara Reid is the author and illustrator of more than a dozen picture books, and the illustrator of over twenty-five. She has received awards for her many books, including the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People, The Governor General’s Award for Illustration for The Party, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award for The Subway Mouse. We want to send a special thank you to Barbara for allowing us use of her beautiful images.