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Read. Connect. Grow!

Heather Jack

I just returned from the Mom Congress Read.Connect.Grow! event sponsored by Target in New York City.  I really enjoyed hearing all of the speakers – Greg Schumann, Teresa Williams, Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Beth McGuire, Kim Davenport, Lily Eskelsen, Brian Floca, and Matthew Van Fleet.   And early literacy is definitely a cause that we can all stand behind.

I’d like to share a picture from a family volunteering event that we did with Jumpstart a few years ago.   I know it’s not professionally done and I took it back when I didn’t have a digital camera (gasp!), but it gets the point across – you can see the joy in the face of the Corps member and the learning happening in the eyes of the child.

This event led me to an unexpected realization.   I was reminded how amazing it is that such a small act – reading to your child – can have on his/her life.

Like reading to your child, there are many efforts that any of us can undertake which can make a difference.  You really don’t have to set out to change the world in order to have an impact.  There are thousands of nonprofit organizations, like Jumpstart, out there that are doing great work.  So, rather than starting something from scratch, pick a cause and collaborate with one of them.  If you want to promote early literacy, consider reading at a local preschool.  If you are interested in healthy eating, arrange a cooking demonstration for parents.  Or, if you want to address a bullying issue at your child’s school, arrange for a speaker to come talk to the kids.  It’s really that simple.

So thanks once again for the inspiration, Parenting Magazine and Mom Congress, and for the reminder that it’s the small things that we do that count the most.

Heather Jack is the Massachusetts Mom Congress Delegate and the Founder of The Volunteer Family and The Future Philanthropists program.