Reach Out and Read: Encouraging a Love of Reading

Rachel Weigert

Many of us have a fond memory with a book as the focal point: one that was read to us countless times by parents or grandparents, or maybe even the first we read on our own, which for me was Amazing Grace. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to realize how fortunate I was to have books surrounding me from birth along with people who cared enough to read them.

I started volunteering with Reach Out and Read at an inner city hospital in Minneapolis. The volunteer coordinator started our training by holding up a file folder with the word “upscuddle” scrawled on it. Assuming this was a word many of us were not familiar with, she went on to say that children who have been read to have more than quadruple the vocabulary coming into kindergarten than their counterparts. The comparison was drawn: the confusion I felt at the word “upscuddle” happens on a moment-to-moment basis for children with a limited vocabulary, reading and writing skills.

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New Parents and Sleep: What to Expect

Newborn Sleep, What to Expect

Ah…sleep. It seems so precious and limited when babies are young. New parents quickly learn not to take a good nights’ sleep for granted. When should breastfed babies be expected to sleep throughout the night?

Sleep is a work in progress during the first year of a baby’s life. There is no easy answer.

The First Month

In the first few weeks after birth, babies almost always fall asleep at the end of nursing. Their tummies are full, they just worked for their meal by actively nursing, and they are warm and cozy in mom’s arms. Who wouldn’t take a snooze after this?

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The Community of American Family Children’s Hospital

I’m a volunteer on the board of Friends of UW Hospital and Clinics and a very fortunate mother of two healthy, happy teenage children. Aside from a few stitches and a broken bone or two, typical of active kids, my family has never really needed much from the American Family Children’s Hospital.

The reality is most of us, gratefully may never need our children’s hospital. Yet, I’m passionate about supporting our children’s hospital because when you do need it, you REALLY need it. I remember thinking when the doctor stitched my son’s lip back together after an unfortunate run in with a whiffle bat, thank goodness I’m here! Thank goodness I have this amazing hospital filled with incredible people who want nothing more than to make my child better – and that was just for a few stitches.

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Child Life: Calming Fears with a Magic Wand and a Smile

We thought it was just another “daycare cold” – albeit one in a long string of sniffles and ear infections caught by our 13-month-old son over the winter months. But call it a (paranoid?) mother’s intuition – that nasty cough was just a little too nasty and persistent for my taste. And though Benjamin does tend to wheeze when he’s sick, his inhaler didn’t seem to help at all this time around.

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