Inova Partners with LCPS to Sponsor Books for Babies and Promote Young Readers.
After watching groups of Loudoun County elementary school students read aloud, Wendall Fisher knew he had seen something special.
“These children have confidence. They can read in public,” said Fisher, the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Supervisor of the Office of Outreach. “That means they can do anything.”
As part of the Books for Babies partnership of Inova Loudoun Hospital and LCPS, students from four Loudoun elementary schools read aloud to a crowd of teachers, family members and hospital representatives on Oct. 19. Students practiced in groups beforehand, not only reading in a public setting but creating a performance, often with props and costumes.
“This is my favorite day of the year because you get to see all this,” said Inova Government & Community Relations liaison Stacey Miller.
Books for Babies started with a grant in 2000 that provided books to every child born in Loudoun County. The program now gives about 3,000 books each year and is designed to spur lifelong reading from a young age.
The program is a part of the partnership between LCPS and Inova, which also works with groups like the YMCA, Loudoun County Public Libraries and Books a Million.
The annual read-aloud spotlights some of Loudoun’s young readers as they reach elementary school. School principals work with their respective librarians and reading teachers to select students for this showcase.
Each of the four participating schools in this year’s event had a chance to show off their reading skills.
- Students from Sanders Corner Elementary in Ashburn read “The Magician’s Hat” by Malcom Mitchell
- Newton Lee Elementary students in Ashburn read “Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices” by Paul Fleischman
- Students from Leesburg Elementary read “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig
- Mountain View Elementary students in Purcellville read from James Marshal’s version of the “The Three Little Pigs”
Fisher said he hopes to add a fifth school to the program next year, likely in Sterling.
“Our students are well prepared. They have phenomenal esteem,” Fisher said. “They focus and they are not afraid. Those are things that will carry on in your life for the rest of your life.”