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The JCY-Westchester Community Partner’s mission is to enhance the educational experience of children in Westchester County through effective learning initiatives and the engagement of volunteer mentors.
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The Open Book: Reading Aloud is Ageless



The OPEN BOOK: Reading Aloud is Ageless, a family reading program that is offered by trained volunteers to children and families who visit the pediatric clinics at White Plains Hospital Center and Westchester Medical Center and the babies and families at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.


OPEN BOOK fosters reading and literacy among children and families. The program serves as enrichment for children and families, especially pre-school children who often have little experience or incentive with adults reading books to them. There are many recent research reports which provide compelling evidence for the value of reading to young children. The most compelling is the wide gap in vocabulary upon entering school between disadvantaged and advantaged children. That gap then manifests itself in the low reading skills of 3rd graders - according to a recent report, less than half of 3rd grade students in the US can read at grade level. That percentage rises dramatically for African American and Hispanic students across the country. The work done in OPEN BOOK with low and moderate income children and families contributes to their commitment to literacy and to a deeper appreciation of books.


Westchester

Medical Center

Cedarwood Hall

Valhalla, NY

and

White Plains Hospital


Telephone:

914-493-8011

Accomplishments:

  

  • Since its founding in 1996, OPEN BOOK has trained and placed senior volunteers at the clinics of Westchester Medical Center and White Plains Hospital Center thus providing many thousands of hours of reading aloud to children, along with free new and gently used books and Parent Education Kits. OPEN BOOK is part of National Reach Out and Read Program.
  • In 2009, at the Westchester Medical Center the OPEN BOOK has:
    • We were invited into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital to provide our services to the babies and families.
    • Provided 1685 volunteer hours through 22 trained senior volunteers, given 4,745 new books to children and families, as well as 5,428 gently used books, provided 416 Parent Education Kits in English and 217 Parent Education Kits in Spanish.
    • OPEN BOOK volunteers read to children almost 5,000 times: the number of contacts we had with children was 4,854 and with parents, 2,882; since some children come several times throughout the year, OPEN BOOK volunteers read aloud to approximately 1500-1800 children in approximately 1000-1200 families.