Importance of Books for Children
By Monica Sheldon

Who doesn’t have a favorite book or a favorite moment of being read to as a child? Seated on a lap or snuggled up in bed, a familiar voice reciting favorite words. The bond created by sharing stories enriches both the reader and the listener.

Benefits of Books
The benefits of reading and being read to are undeniable. It increases communication skills, enhances social and emotional development, and leads to greater academic achievement.
Babies benefit from sharing books as soon as the first few weeks and months of life. Being held and spoken to increases their well-being, developing feelings of intimacy and attentiveness for both child and caregiver. As they look and point at the pictures in books, babies begin to ask questions before they can talk, starting “conversations” and learning about the world around them. Their language skills continue to develop as they copy sounds, recognize pictures, and learn words.

For pre-school children, reading aloud increases vocabulary and develops abstract thought. Children who are read to develop an understanding of story grammar and are better prepared for reading instruction once they start school. Read more about this here.

Benefits of OWNING Books
Benefits of repetition, owning a book vs. library borrowing
A study on language acquisition found that children pick up new vocabulary quicker from repeated readings of the same book than when they encounter the same words in different new texts (Horst, Parsons & Bryan, 2011.)

Here are some helpful links:
Number of books in the child’s home matters

Economically disadvantaged kids have limited access to books

EBC’s Part / Call for Donations
As part of EBC’s mission to help kids thrive, we supply books and reading material to kids 0-12 years old. For many of these kids, they are the only books they will own.
We like to include a board book in every newborn layette and distribute them along with our toy orders, including new books for birthday gifts when they are available. We also fill special requests for books. Board books, unused Preschool and Kindergarten workbooks, and Spanish language books are in especially high demand. While most of the children who request books from us are able to receive a bag of 10 age-appropriate books, Spanish-speaking children most often receive just 3-5 books because of our limited supply.

How you can help:
• Review your collection at home. Are there any books your kids have grown out of that are taking up valuable shelf space?
• Host a book drive through your school, workplace, or community center; or host a book swap and donate the left-overs. Click here to get signed up for a collection drive

• Consider purchasing a few extra books the next time you place a Scholastic book order through your child’s school. Scholastic offers discounted Spanish language books and bilingual English/Spanish books through Club Leo.
• Pick up a discounted set of books the next time you’re at Costco.

We rely on volunteers to screen and sort book donations
Books we cannot redistribute:
• Damaged books with stains or torn/missing pages
• Religious themes including holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.)
• Teen or adult books (We serve children 12 and under)

 

Meet Our Founder – Karen Ridlon

Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner (EBC) in 1990.   A certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (University of California, San Francisco, 1972), Karen worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in California and Washington, working in well child care, newborn care and newborn ICU support for a number of medical groups and doctors. Karen founded Eastside Baby Corner to fill an unmet need of parents of newborns who lacked basic supplies for their children.

She is Executive Director Emeritus and a lifetime member of the EBC Board of Directors. Karen has been recognized for her efforts with many volunteer awards, including receiving the Leadership Eastside LENi Community Choice Leadership Award in 2013, Distinguished Member Award for the Washington State Chapter of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) in 2013, Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award (2009), and chosen as a UCSF Distinguished Alumni. Karen was a key player in the development of the Issaquah Community Center and has been a tireless contributor to many volunteer efforts over the years including scouting, the public schools, and her church. Karen is the mother of three children and a proud resident of Issaquah, where she lives with her husband. 

Meet Our Board of Directors and Leadership
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