Reading is the Fifth Food Group
Thanks to a partnership between the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Best Books for Babies Committee more than 225 Pittsburgh Area Food Pantries received a set of ten books under the campaign “Reading is the Fifth Food Group.”
“We know that all children need good, healthy food to grow strong bodies. But we need to feed the hearts and minds of our children as well. Stories help to do that.” said Margaret Mary Kimmel, professor emerita in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences, chair of the selection committee and longtime collaborator with The Fred Rogers Company. “Reading to the very youngest children helps them acquire words to grow on, words that help them learn, words that heal wounds, words that inspire. And we can help that learning process to grow by sharing the best books with all our babies.”
The committee once counted Fred Rogers among its critiquing members and today the company he began, The Fred Rogers Company, proudly supports Best Books for Babies along with The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC).
“Fred Rogers had a favorite quote from the children’s book, The Little Prince,” Kimmel said. “It reads, ‘What is essential is invisible to the eye.’ We tend to think that babies don’t appreciate listening to stories, poems or songs, but these moments of sharing, often without visible results, can be the gift of a lifetime.”
Below is a video of Pittsburgh Steeler and Best Books for Babies Spokesperson Max Starks reading to infants and toddlers at the Cooper-Seigel Library.