Read to Me! is a provincial, hospital-based program developed to help families enrich their child’s early years with books and reading.
In Atlantic Canada, 52% of the population have limited literacy skills or experience great difficulty reading (International Adult Literacy Survey, 1994). Research shows that literacy is a key determinant of health and has a great impact on education, employment and income. Learning begins at birth and in the first three years of life the brain is building at a rate never to be repeated. By starting early with talking, cuddling, singing and reading to a baby, parents can help build a strong foundation of language, and along with it, a positive association with books and reading.
We work to stop cycles of low literacy in Nova Scotia by presenting parents with books and literacy resources at the hospital bedside within 24 hours of the birth of their baby.
Read to Me!, established in 2002, is now delivered at all eleven hospitals in Nova Scotia that offer maternity services, reaching all 9,000 babies born in the province each year.
Read to Me! is a network of provincial partners with the shared goal of supporting early literacy in Nova Scotia.
The Founding Partners are: The Province of Nova Scotia, The Halifax Youth Foundation, The IWK Health Centre, The IWK Health Centre Auxiliary, CBC, and The Government of Canada. The program is delivered by Read to Me! staff and a dedicated team of hundreds of volunteers across Nova Scotia.