Ten years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, I read in a parenting magazine about the importance of reading to her every day.  I learned about the higher literacy rates amongst children who were read to often.

It is in my nature to take advice like this to heart so I decided to make reading part of my daughter’s bedtime routine starting when she was three months old. Some people thought I was crazy to read to a child so young and to be honest, I felt a little crazy too. Here I was reading every single night to this little human who couldn’t even hold her head up. Once she hit six months of age something miraculous happened—she began to enjoy the stories and interact. She smiled, widened her eyes and touched the tactile books I read to her.

My daughter turns ten years old in February and we still read to her, and to our other two children, almost every night for fifteen minutes each before bedtime.

This special time provides a wonderful bonding experience for all of us. Don’t get me wrong sometimes it’s exhausting and yes, there are nights that I fall asleep mid-sentence or we skip it altogether due to the craziness of our lives. But most nights, whether it is my husband or I reading to them, my kids get to hear stories.

I don’t know if it has made them any better in school. But, what I do know is that this ritual has helped them develop a genuine love of reading.reading in the book nook

It makes me sad to think that all children are not fortunate enough to reap the benefits of this opportunity. This is the reason we are so supportive of the non-profit Philadelphia based organization called Duffy Books in Homes, USA. They strive to provide elementary school students in need with books of their choice to keep in their homes, encouraging life-long literacy and success.

DBIH USA has joined #GivingTuesday, the national movement bringing charities, families, businesses, and individuals together to better their communities during this holiday season. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #Giving Tuesday uses the powers of social media to encourage people to shop a little less and give a little more. By participating in #Giving Tuesday, DBIH USA joins a movement of individuals and organizations working to create a better world for our kids.

The goal is to raise $5000 (1,500 brand new books). You can help accomplish this goal by donating to DBIHUSA.org or by entering their #DuffyGivingTuesday #Giveaway. Enter to win a bundle of books for your little reader by posting on twitter a photo of you reading with your child and tagging Duffy using #DuffyGivingTuesday. The winner will be announced on Giving Tuesday, December 1st.

Wouldn’t it be great to get more books into kids’ lives?

Holly Rizzuto Palker


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