I read to my daughters, now 23 and 25, because my mom read to me. I had little understanding then of the advantage our time spent together reading was providing them. More obvious to me was the joy I experienced in reciting the rhymes, revealing the surprises, mimicking the sounds revealed on the pages that consistently elicited giggles, curiosity and exclamation from my children.
And so it was with my mother and me. When I was young, we had far fewer books than my children had – yet no less fun in reading them over and over and over again. I am able to recall vividly the closeness and giggles we shared in the literally hundreds of readings of Cat in the Hat and Go Dog Go. I recall the unique red white and blue colors on the pages and the warmth of my mother’s arms as they reached around me, turning every page. Neither of us was focused on learning. Neither of us knew much about brain development in early childhood. We only knew that reading together was special time in otherwise hectic days – then and now.
Like many generational cycles, we did what we knew to do from experience. And in this case we were lucky enough to benefit from the associated developmental foundation our acts were affecting.
When I was introduced to Raising A Reader MA and learned how many parents, caregivers and small children did not have even a few books in their homes and how many had never experienced the joy of sharing a book together, I felt a visceral call to action. Every parent and child should know the joys and benefits of reading together. Every donation in kind and in currency to the passionate experts and evangelists at Raising A Reader MA brings us one step closer.
Raising A Reader MA Board Member Ann Carter is one of three founding partners of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, one of the country’s largest independent public affairs firms,where she currently serves as CEO. Her daughters now 25 and 23 still enjoy sharing their latest favorite books.