"It takes MORE than medicine to have a Healthy Child." --Reach Out and Read Program
Central and Southern Ohio SCBWI will host its 3rd annual Scarlet and Gray Writers and Illustrators Conference April 16. The theme is Plant the Seeds of Success! I am registered, ready, and raring to go. (And I understand registration is still open if you're interested in going, too.)
The conference promises to be super helpful and fun. Keynote speaker is Mandy Hubbard, Literary Agent with D4EO Literary, and author of Prada and Prejudice and You Wish. Other faculty include Susan Hawk (The Bent Agency), Heather Alexander (Dial Books), and Krista Marino (Delacorte). The slate also offers additional authors and former editors.
But there's more than great workshops, critiques, and rubbing shoulders with fellow writers. The folks--Susan Bradley and others who are working hard to offer another fantastic conference (I got to go last year, too)--are offering a unique partnership in which attendees can participate, the Nationwide Children's Hospital's Reach Out and Read Program.
Nationwide's Mission says, "Reach Out and Read prepares central Ohio's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together." The focus is given to families living in poverty. During "well-child visits," pediatricians give children ages six months through five years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep. Doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading to their young children aloud every day. And volunteers engage children and their families in literacy and music related activities while in the waiting area.
Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it? Especially to those of us who truly believe in the importance of reading to our children.
Here's the fun part. Conference attendees are encouraged to bring a new children's book to donate to this program. I'm on board, and here's where you can help.
If you were to donate a book, which book would you choose? I'm all ears, and, if you name a title in a comment, I will consider it for my selection. In fact, I'll do a random drawing of book titles, and choose three books whose titles you recommend. It will almost be like you get to attend, too. Well, sort of!
Small though it may be, we can team up together to put books in children's hands--a fantastic opportunity to help young children on the road to reading. I'll just be the delivery person.
Oh, and by the way, if you'd like to read a fantastic post on reading to your children, check out this post from HowlynnTimes: Never Fight Bedtime Again! Foolproof Plan. This is one of the best pieces I've read on the subject. Highlights: 1) Why it's important to read to your children. 2) Guidelines on how to implement the time. 3) Why any excuse not to does not hold water. You'll want to check this out.
And before we're done here, may I also suggest you check out another blog site: Vintage Books My Kid Loves. Blogger Burgin Streetman scours used book stores and other places for children's books for her son, and shares the joy and beauty of rediscovering old favorites with her readers. It's a great place to visit for ideas.
So, if you could go to this conference, what book would you want to donate?
"No adult loves a book the way a child loves a book. They live that book. They absolutely live it, and they will read it five or six times. How many adult books get read that often?" --Sally Derby, Children's Book Author