In North America
Read to Me!, Nova Scotia
Read to Me! is a non-profit early literacy organisation that gives a free bag of books and literacy resources to every baby in Nova Scotia. The bag is gifted at 11 hospitals in the province, within 24 hours of birth at the hospital bedside.
The programme reaches all 10,000 babies born in the province each year, and, as of 2011, had given out nearly 75,000 bags in all.
Read to Me! is delivered by a team of over 100 volunteers and hospital staff across the province.
Find out more:
Ready to Read Baby Bag / Sac à livres pour bébé Prêt à lire, Ottawa
Working in partnership with public health, healthcare providers and midwifery organisations, around 8,000 newborn babies receive a Ready to Read Baby Bag every year. Book bags are filled with 'The Incredible Directory' (a parent resource list), a certificate redeemable for a free board book as well as further early literacy information.
Bags are mostly gifted through nurses and midwives, as well as through libraries. Library branches also offer sessions with songs, fingerplays and rhymes for babies and their families.
Find out more:
Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read encourages families to read together and prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by giving out 6 million books every year.
The programme works with doctors who 'prescribe' books to families. Parents are advised at their child's regular health check-ups about the importance of reading aloud and are given appropriate books to share by their doctor, nurse or other medical professional. A special emphasis is given to children growing up in low-income communities. The programme is further supported by the combined 350,000 hours of service donated annually by community volunteers.
Research shows that families served by Reach Out and Read share books more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills and a six-month developmental edge. The programme takes place in more than 4,500 hospitals and health centres in all 50 states, and serves 3.9 million children and families annually.