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A Home Run in the Midst of the World Cup!

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We are in the midst of World Cup soccer play, but this week has been a HOME-RUN for those of us in the early-learning literacy arena. On Tuesday, June 25th, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its first-ever policy statement focused on literacy promotion, calling for pediatricians to advise all parents about the many benefits of reading aloud, which promotes literacy and social-emotional skills.

A new team is forming with an innovative group of expert players working together for the first time on the literacy field! Doctors, pediatricians, teachers, literacy advocates, advocacy organizations , NFP's, government agencies - even politicians including Bill Clinton and President Obama - are all focused on the goal of closing the reading gap that's left our littlest, most challenged learners behind.

Every day the children motivate us to do more, do better, give them the opportunity they deserve. In New York City we are more committed than ever to grow our literacy work to be a significant part of the solution for every one of them. Our commitment grows with every new face at the door of our Pajama Program Reading Center in New York City.

Our Literacy Advisory Board leads Pajama Program forward. These board members, educational leaders from around the nation, consult upon and execute literacy-related projects for our work with the children we see. In 2012 we launched our Lighting the Way to Literacy Initiative, a dedicated effort to sustain literacy, leveraging our successful mission beyond providing books and pajamas to children in need to include a new vision of educational partnership. Guided by our Literacy Advisory Board we turn the page on a new chapter, creating lasting partnerships with the school community that build our successful support of the neediest readers.

We are encouraged by what we're hearing so far. A Good Night for All Children: The Impact of the Pajama Program on Children's Sleep Health and Wellness further promotes the new policy put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey - whatever the sport of the moment is, the players hold the key to success. Carter's and Scholastic along with thousands of partners and generous individuals help us ensure our children go to bed in clean, warm pajamas and with a nurturing book to encourage a peaceful night. The American Academy of Pediatrics hit it out of the park for all of us on Team Children. Calling all players! Individuals, groups, corporations and foundations, we are inviting you to join the game.