When babies are little, they love books that have pictures of other babies. They graduate to stories that might relate back to their own lives, such as in the sweet, gentle bedtime process as described in Goodnight Moon. From there stories become more complex and inspire imagination, but are still relatable, such as my all-time favorite Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day which, for me, made it okay to have a bad day (everyone does) and helped spark my still present desire to visit Australia.
My story at Reach Out and Read Colorado is very much the same. Almost eleven years ago, I joined this amazing effort by visiting clinics statewide for program expansion and to see, first-hand, babies being prescribed reading as a part of their well-child exam. My role as Executive Director expanded as my daughter grew up and I had my second child. As I watched my kids’ love of books grow, I became impassioned that every Colorado child should have the same experience.
My role at Reach Out and Read Colorado has become wonderfully complex as the organization set ambitious goals and is respected across early education and healthcare. And my imagination continues to grow, now leading me into exploration of what my next career move might be. Being a part of Reach Out and Read Colorado has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. I’ve learned so much from our clinics, providers, board and staff. This work allowed me to visit every corner of our great state, work with the smallest, most rural clinics to the largest, urban health systems and love every minute of it all. And now, after over a decade of service to Reach Out and Read Colorado, it’s time for me to follow my imagination and write the next chapter in my book.
Thank you for allowing me to partner with you to make books a standard part of well-child care and for your dedication to our young patients and families. I look forward to watching the continued success of Reach Out and Read Colorado.