Sunday, June 19, 2016

Why Not a Community Effort to Guarantee Parents' Reading to Babies?

The Letter to the Editor about the importance of reading to babies to ensure their readiness for school points out how parents should read to their children practically from birth.

See  letter-begin-with-books .

Begin With Books, the organization behind the letter, looks for donations from those who read Letters to the Editor. While this work is commendable, the urgency of the situation demands a more comprehensive approach to have a major impact on the Charleston County School District. Certainly, the parents who do not read to their children do not read Letters to the Editor!

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library performs a great service for parents who sign up. Yet, the parents whose children need books the most are unlikely to do so. Imagine what could be done if Charleston County's myriad organizations worked together to reach those at-risk children from birth.

Charleston County hospitals clearly can play a major role in reaching these parents. Surely they could develop protocols to identify newborns for this purpose.

With such a list, the Charleston County Public Library could enter the picture. Community organizations that work with families in need could reinforce the idea of obtaining and reading books to children. Community volunteers could provide transportation of loaned books to and from those who need them. Bring back the bookmobile! Local media could promote reading to children to the entire community. Churches could get into the act.

No one can force a parent to read to a child. A parent whose own parents never read to him or her may not think it important. However, a widespread, coordinated campaign could change minds.

No doubt many layers of bureaucracy and red tape lie in the way of coordinating such an effort, but what are politicians for?

No comments: