Breanna Smith -Read to Me! Program Assistant
“I have always been passionate about reading, and I am so excited to be able to share my love of books with all the families who come to the IWK, so that they can develop a love of reading and learning as well.”
The Read to Me! Program is Nova Scotia’s early reading promotion program delivering a bag of books to every baby born in the province. Since its inception in 2002, the program has given out over 140,000 bags containing 331,000 baby books. Fifty per cent of births in Nova Scotia occur at the IWK and during the week it is Breanna Smith’s pleasure to deliver the bags to all of the new family members who are born at the health centre.
“When I go into a room to deliver a bag to a family, their excitement and genuine interest in receiving the books gives me hope,” says Breanna. “I also see the bags out in the community, so I know they are being well used and well loved.”
Each distinctive yellow Read to Me! bag contains a selection of carefully chosen, age-appropriate baby books selected by a team of experts in early literacy and early childhood development. The selection changes every few years and is available in English, French, Arabic, Chinese and Mi’kmaq.
“When I am able to deliver books to a family in their native language, it is an incredibly moving feeling which I feel exemplifies the core values of the IWK,” says Breanna. “Not only is the Read to Me program making a positive difference in peoples’ lives, but it also contributes to the culture of inclusion and diversity we strive for at the IWK. It is just one example of what makes my work very rewarding.”