November 1, 2023
Dear Friends of Bring Me a Book,
We are writing to update you on Bring Me A Book (BMAB) since our mother, Judy Koch, passed. We know that many of you supported BMAB out of your affection for Judy and the belief that there is no greater gift to a child than the joy of reading—a gift made possible by access to books. Thanks to your support, this is exactly what BMAB has provided. We are glad to share with you that this important work will continue.
Before her untimely passing, Judy worked with the leadership of the Stanford Center on Early Childhood (SCEC) to ensure a stable partnership for BMAB’s mission to continue in the future. SCEC is dedicated to the optimal development, health, and well-being of all children and brings expertise and commitment to deepen and expand upon Judy’s work. The goal of BMAB’s new partnership with SCEC is to develop a scalable model to promote young children’s health and early learning.
Although Bring Me a Book will no longer exist independently as a nonprofit, Judy’s mission and vision will live on. SCEC will incorporate BMAB into their current program in which books are distributed to families eligible for Medicaid through pediatric clinics, primarily in San Mateo County. The best way to reach all newborns and young children is through the health care system because families trust pediatricians more than any other practitioner, and primary health care clinics are the one nearly universal point of contact for children before they enter kindergarten. Children will receive culturally appropriate books, many of which were curated by Judy, on each visit from infancy through early childhood.
We are delighted with this development of our mother’s passion in life. In addition to offering long-term stability, the SCEC has the capacity to offer additional supports to promote productive literacy activities. For example, pediatricians are given training in how to encourage reading at home. Families are also given the opportunity to sign up for “tips by text,” which sends them regular text messages with ideas for simple literacy activities they can do with their child. Small libraries of children’s books are being created in clinic waiting rooms where, in some places, Stanford undergraduate volunteers read to children while they wait to see the doctor. These and other programs, depending on interest and resources, ensure that families receive support for developing a rich literacy environment for their young children, in addition to books we know they will treasure—books that, as Judy was fond of saying, children would want to read again and again.
Judy never tired of seeing a child’s face light up with the joy of reading. She gave her heart to the literacy lives of children, lighting their lives and ours with her enthusiasm. And now, in partnership with the Stanford Center on Early Childhood, Bring Me a Book will light the lives of many more children and their families with the joy of literacy. In Judy’s honor, the Koch family has committed to help fund this new partnership over the next five years, with hopes the program will reach a point of sustainability and continue to bring the joy of reading to young families throughout the community as Judy intended.
Stewart and Marshall Koch
Donations in Judy’s honor to this continuation of Judy’s mission can be made by clicking on give.stanford.edu. In the dropdown, click on “Graduate School of Education,” then “Other Stanford Designation.” In the text box write, “Stanford Center on Early Childhood.”
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