Read to Me! is a non-profit, province-wide early reading promotion program. We provide FREE books and reading resources to every baby born in Nova Scotia to encourage parents and caregivers to read to their baby from the very start.
Families are visited at the hospital bedside by a Read to Me! staff member, hospital staff, or volunteer who provides guidance on how to use the books and resources to support their baby’s early literacy through fun daily activities.
The Read to Me! Program encourages parents to lay the foundation of their baby’s early learning skills through reading, talking and singing to their baby.
Babies who are read to regularly begin to learn the early reading skills needed to become readers later on, such as how to hold a book and turn pages, knowing that words have meaning, and understanding the connection between the story and the pictures on the page.
Read to Me! evolved from a collaboration between the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Halifax Youth Foundation, the IWK Health Centre and Health Authorities across Nova Scotia who were looking for ways to address low literacy rates and support early learning in Nova Scotia. In 2001 the Read to Me! Director was hired to shape a program model for a hospital-based early literacy program for Nova Scotia. Read to Me! was launched on Family Literacy Day January 27th, 2002. The mission of the program is to motivate and empower every family in Nova Scotia to read, talk and sing with their baby. Each year over 9,000 babies across Nova Scotia receive this great start in life.
To ensure the sustainability of the program an endowment is being built to ensure the gift of books for every baby in Nova Scotia in perpetuity. Read to Me! has received generous donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, as well as federal and provincial funding. Read to Me! is a registered charitable foundation and the Read to Me! Foundation Inc. Board are trustees of the endowment.
Read to Me! is a province-wide program run by two full-time, and two part-time staff and supported by maternal newborn staff and over 100 dedicated volunteers across the province. The IWK Health Centre is the host organization for Read to Me!
Each year Read to Me! provides free books and reading resources to over 9,000 families across Nova Scotia. We could not accomplish this without the support of a network of hundreds of dedicated people across the province: nurses, ward clerks, librarians, volunteers and the staff of Read to Me! work together to ensure that every baby born in Nova Scotia goes home from the hospital with their Read to Me! bag. It is this community-based collaboration that has made Read to Me! such a success.
Maternal Newborn nurse-managers in 11 health centers champion the program in their hospitals
Volunteer Resource Coordinators at many hospitals organize teams of volunteers to deliver the program
A team of four volunteers pack over 700 Read to Me! bags each month
The Nova Scotia Provincial Library partners with Read to Me! to transport the packed Read to Me! bags to libraries around the province. Local library staff bring the boxes of packed bags to local participating hospitals
The Nova Scotia Provincial Library provides “Baby’s First Library Card” in each Read to Me! bag
Public libraries across Nova Scotia support reading to babies with their “books for babies” programs
Over 100 volunteers across the province deliver the Read to Me! bags to new families
The IWK Health Centre acts as host organization for Read to Me! under the Primary Health Portfolio
Subaru Canada is the official vehicle sponsor for Read to Me! providing a Subaru vehicle affectionately known as the “Readmobile” which allows us to travel around the province to all participating hospitals
Phone: (902) 470-6487 or (902) 470-7763
IWK Health Centre
5850/5980 University Avenue
PO Box 9700
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8
Fax: (902) 470-8785
We have been overwhelmed with the great gifts that we received from your program in the hospital! Thank you!
- Mary K.