New York parents can now receive free books for their young children. NYC has partnered with Reach Out and Read to bring 200,000 bundles of baby books to families across the city over the next two years. This announcement comes as part of a rash of new early literacy programs that are popping up across the U.S.
NYC hospitals already participate in Reach Out and Read programs, encouraging parents to read to their children by providing them with free books. For example, Bellevue's program provides books at wellness check-ups through age 5; these books are available in 10 languages. Bellevue has also developed a sister program called Reach Out and Write.
Details on NYC's baby book bundle program are few. It is currently unknown how large the bundles will be, what books they will contain, and in what languages they will be available. There is also no mention of when the city plans to roll out the program, nor is there any indication as to whether or not the program — if successful — will continue after two years.
The Associated Press reports that the books are being donated by Scholastic, Inc. Each bundle will reportedly contain the book Love Is, which has been "designed to encourage early childhood language development and establish strong bonds between parents and children." The bundles will be available to families with children up to age 3.
You can find out more about Reach Out and Read, including information on programs in your area and how to get involved, by visiting the organization's website.