We started Family Voices in 2009 as a means to reach out to parents of children five or under and inspire them to read to their children every day. To do this we created a CD collection of children’s books selected by librarians and recorded by community leaders. When a parent or other family member comes to let us record them reading a story, we add it to the CD to personalize it and give the CD to the parent with a free book for each child in the family under five. We also established a website, OZARKS FAMILY VOICES, where anyone can hear the recordings. We recently added a second and third group of recordings. http://ozarksfamilyvoices.org
The importance of reading to young children is well established yet fewer than 50% of families read to their kids on a routine basis. Family Voices has been working to make a difference for seven years now and I can tell you that it is difficult and time consuming to reach anywhere near as many people as we need to.
Today at 12:30 I’m meeting with a subcommittee to see what we might do to streamline our efforts going forward. We have some ideas that may help us reach more of our targeted audience. I hope so! I’ll let you know how it goes.