I just spotted a copy of JK Rowling's new book,
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by our kitchen table. I am sure my 19-year-old son, home for the summer after his first year of college, bought it. It made me smile. I remember the release of each of the seven original books. Several came out in July when we were traveling, but our son desperately wanted them as soon as possible so we bought one from a tiny bookstore in Truckee, California. Then there was the year we were touring the North Dakota capitol and we spotted the brand new Harry Potter book lying on the Governor's desk! My son read, and re-read, every book. When we tried to consolidate his belongings when he left for college, there was no question that the Harry Potter books were being kept! So I, and millions of parents, saw the power of a special series of books in a child's life. There is no question that these books deepened my son's love for reading, and that this helped him tremendously in school.
And in this Sunday's
New York Times
The Good News About Educational Inequality
" emphasizes the role of parent-child reading at home in increasing equity in kindergarten readiness, specifically noting the role of Reach Out and Read.
Together these articles address two of the main functions that Reach Out and Read plays--putting real books into the hands of children, and helping large populations of low-income families understand just how important they are in their child's education.
This year 1,650 medical providers in 196 clinics across Washington will have over 200,000 Reach Out and Read well-child checkups with families, reaching more families than any other early learning program in the state. With a focus on equity, we prioritize clinics serving children living in low-income families, children of color, and families where English is not the home language. This strategy is working! We just need the investment to sustain and grow this network of doctors supporting families. Thanks for helping spread the word about the mighty impact and critical role of Reach Out and Read, so that together we can create an equitable Washington, where all children will be ready for kindergarten.