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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

On Five-Year-Olds Flipping Tassels and Preparing for Greatness

by Ginger Young, Executive Director

This past Saturday, June 9th, our Book Babies Class of 2018 graduated. It was a spectacular sea of orange caps and gowns, of vibrant imaginations and utter cuteness and very, very proud parents and family members.

When my colleague Daniele Berman greeted one little boy who arrived for the graduation dress rehearsal last week, she asked, “How are you?”. He replied, “I’m GRADUATION!”.  When I welcomed a girl arriving at the ceremony, she whispered to me, “I feel special today.” Amen to both!

I met many of these five-year-old graduates when they were weeks old. I got to see for myself the unstoppable commitment that their parents had to ensuring their success – even in those early, hazy, sleep-deprived newborn days. And here is what I can say after five years of witnessing their journey:

These children are brilliant.

And their parents are rock stars.

These 29 children – our first-ever graduating class of Book Babies — will arrive at kindergarten this fall with robust vocabularies and irrepressible curiosity. They will arrive nourished by home libraries of more than 100 books each, accumulated over multiple home visits from our Book Babies team over these past five years, and by hundreds of bedtime stories and snuggly reading sessions with loving family members. They will arrive launched by parents who believe in them deeply and who also believe in their own power as brain builders.

This Book Babies Class of 2018 is followed by 300+ more Book Babies – our Classes of 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 (our newborns, enrolling now!). When I dream of what might be, my dreams turn to what our world could look like if this journey from birth until kindergarten, enriched by lots of books and home visits, by parents doing the hard and thrilling work accompanied by a Book Babies team who are there to support them every step of the way, were a journey that all our children could take. I believe that our world would look different, energized by children who have been given the support from birth to realize their full potential, ready for kindergarten and lifted up by their rock star parents.

And I am ready to make that dream come true. Our youngest deserve nothing less.

Congrats, Book Babies Class of 2018!  Onward to kindergarten and greatness!

See press coverage of the graduation ceremony here.

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