Note: We are delighted to welcome Jamie Simoneau, our new Deputy Director, to the Notebook as well as to the Books@Work team! Jamie joined us on April 1st with an amazing array of experiences and expertise in marketing, public relations and non-profit operations, and she will work with us to continue to grow Books@Work, with a particular focus on our employer and foundation partners.
As a first-time mother, thoughts of my baby boy are rarely far from my mind. So as I begin this journey with Books@Work, I naturally come back to thinking about my son. It strikes me that every parenting resource tells me the very same thing: read to my baby every day.
Read every day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the act of reading to my baby develops his language and social skills, and helps me to develop a close emotional relationship with him. Research shows that sharing books with children helps them learn about peer relationships, coping strategies, building self-esteem and general world knowledge. But it doesn’t stop there: further research indicates that children whose parents read regularly and have a positive attitude about reading are more inclined to read and have significantly higher scores in reading. In other words, reading – to myself and to him – is essential to my baby’s growth and development.
Reading is essential.
Should it really be any different for the rest of us, no matter what our age? Reading sparks our imagination and connects us to a different perspective. Reading strengthens our mind and, often times, softens our heart. Reading helps us grow.
And shouldn’t the rest of us truly be all of us?
This is the very heart of Books@Work and I am taken by our foundational beliefs. To share just a few: Great literature and meaningful learning opportunities belong to everyone. Exploring, discussing and debating great ideas and human themes builds curiosity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. And, most importantly, lifelong learning improves quality of life for this generation and the next.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to bring this essential act to others. I know we will make a difference. As I keep reading every day to my beautiful son, I am sure of it.
Image: Mary Cassatt, Nurse Reading to a Little Girl, 1895, [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons