Interviews

When Books Are the Best Medicine: Fostering Literacy in the ER

When Books Are the Best Medicine: Fostering Literacy in the ER

Sometimes the best thing an emergency room doctor can give a kid is a book. In a world where low-income children hear 30 million fewer words than more affluent peers, literacy’s the true life-saver. Sutures and IVs can do only so much to address the aftermath of poverty–violence, drugs and abuse–that accounts for so many ER visits.

Just ask Dr. Robin Foster, chief of pediatric emergency services at VCU Medical Center, who says she makes as much impact with social engagement as with medical intervention. Foster helped found in-hospital programs dedicated to child advocacy, youth violence prevention and literacy–all with the goal of reducing the need for emergency services by nipping issues before they reach crisis levels.

Read on to see how Foster and her colleagues promote early literacy and school readiness as a site of Reach Out and Read, a national program that integrates children’s books and parental advice into medical visits.

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Musings

In Praise of Diverse Books for Children

In Praise of Diverse Books for Children

Every now and then a crazy idea captures my imagination and won’t let go. In 2013, it was to sell 1,000 short-sleeved t-shirts in the dead of winter to raise money for a local nonprofit with deep roots but little name-recognition. In 2014, it was to transform a Richmond … Read More

Interviews

Meg Medina on Building The Courage to Write

Meg Medina on Building The Courage to Write

Before Meg Medina won the Pura Belpré medal or became one of CNN’s 10 Visionary Women in America, she skirted around her dreams for years. She wrote consistently, press releases and such, but not in the format or for the audience she preferred.  Caught in a cycle of … Read More

Reviews

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

“Queen Sugar” offers a fresh perspective on the New South, a landscape marred by inequity yet rich in complexity and perseverance. In it, debut novelist Natalie Baszile gives us that elusive treat -- an appropriately complex black woman protagonist. Told through the eyes … Read More

Advice and Inspiration for Smart Women

What do women really want? Trust me, it’s not “balance.”

This blog offers a daily exploration of the varied, determined, sometimes misguided, but unfailingly human ways that women pursue meaning and happiness. Peruse the eclectic mix of advice, interviews, trend spotting and social commentary, then let me know what you think.

Here are a few of my favorite posts to get you started:

Come on. Click around. It’ll be fun, I promise!

Maya Smart