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READ program

The Children's Hospital/Health Sciences Centre READ Program

Pictured at West End Library are: Rick Walker (Winnipeg Public Library), Kerry Ryan (The Winnipeg Foundation), Dr. Celia Rodd (Children’s Hospital), Karin Borland (Winnipeg Public Library), and Blair Nicholls (Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba).

Winnipeg Public Library (WPL) is committed to developing innovative partnerships to support the development of early childhood literacy skills.

The Library is working with the Children’s Hospital, Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg to support their family literacy initiative. The READ (“REsidents for ReADing”) program began in February 2015, during I Love to Read Month, and is aimed at teaching families the importance of reading to their children. Financial support is provided by the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.

During regular clinic visits, pediatric resident physicians encourage parents to read with their children at home.  Families receive a free children’s book from their doctor as well as information about early childhood development, including the library’s Roots of Reading early literacy brochure, rhyme booklets, recommended books and a membership application form. The physicians encourage families to visit their local library and take advantage of all its resources.

The library received a generous grant from The Winnipeg Foundation, Literacy for Life Fund to purchase children’s books which will be given away free to families referred through the READ program as an added incentive to visit a branch of WPL. Families attending the clinic at Children’s Hospital will receive a voucher with the literacy and library information from their physician. The voucher explains that families can redeem it for a free children’s book at any branch of WPL. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the READ initiative and thank The Winnipeg Foundation and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba for their support.

In addition, we are grateful for the support of the Winnipeg Public Library Board in helping to sustain this initiative. The Board made a generous donation in 2017 which was used to purchase books of interest to children of different ages who are referred to the library by their pediatrician.