Read to Kids to Reconnect Grandparents During the Pandemic

Th Read to Kids US logo is a cartoon headshot of Arry, a red poodle. This is a new non-profit to encourage grandparents to read to kids.

This is the logo for Read to Kids US, a new non-profit to encourage grandparents to read to kids.

A photo of Denise Meridith, President of Read to Kids US, and her poodle Arry

Denise Meridith has created a series of children’s books (Adventures of Arry) based on her poodle.

A new non-profit, called Read to Kids US Inc, will encourage parents and grandparents to adopt the habit of reading to children ages 3-6 every day.

Many of us baby boomers have fond, lifelong memories of parents reading us bedtime stories,” says Denise Meridith, “I hope Read to Kids US will create positive memories for today’s children.”

— Denise Meridith

PHOENIX, ARIZONA, USA, April 2, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — While 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, it was especially trying for senior citizens. Who can forget the scenes of elderly people looking sadly from apartment windows or from behind glass barricades in hospitals or being wheeled on gurneys from nursing homes to morgues? AARP reported that 95% of the people who have died from COVID-19, were over 50. People over 65 were thought of as pariahs, or helpless victims, or, according to one Texan official, people who should be willing to die for their grandchildren and the US economy. The emotional impacts on separated family members will be long-term. But one Arizonan business leader has recommended a simple technique to reconnect, during and after the pandemic, with an initiative from Read to Kids US.

Denise Meridith is a 65+ year-old business and community leader in Arizona, best known for her books, articles, and speeches related to entrepreneurship, and business challenges facing women, people of color, LBGTQ+ members, and people with disabilities. But, having formerly bred and shown dogs, she started to write a series of children’s books (Adventures of Arry) about her miniature red poodle. Her hobby has turned into a cause. Read to Kids US will be a new non-profit, which encourages parents and grandparents to read to their children 15 minutes per day. The community will recommend and review appropriate children’s books, exchange stories and ideas about members’ experiences with reading, share information from experts in geriatric and pediatric studies, and suggest fun activities and events involving dogs and reading.

“Many of us baby boomers have fond, lifelong memories of parents reading us bedtime stories,” says Denise Meridith, “I hope Read to Kids US will create positive memories for today’s children. Reading together, even for just 15 minutes, in person or even Zoom, can reduce stress, improve literacy, increase enjoyment, instill positive values, and strengthen bonds for both the adults and kids.”

Historically, grandparents, were revered and served as wise seers within their families, communities, and countries. Particularly in the US, as lifespans lengthened, health/fitness improved, and moving became commonplace, roles and activities of parents and grandparents changed. Some parents simply functioned as chauffeurs, coaches and agents, shuffling kids through hectic schedules of soccer or basketball practice or SAT prep classes. Some grandparents became dynamic, but distant, duos, only texting selfies of themselves in front of all the global landmarks they visited. Other elders suddenly found themselves in an instant replay of grandchild rearing, as parents succumbed to opiate addiction, incarceration, poverty, or just disappeared.

Then the pandemic hit. Some of parents wound up working endless hours as essential workers and first responders, while executives were stressed, spending 24/7 at home with children, who were equally stressed spending so much time only around parents. Adults and children watch their separate nightly shows on TVs or iPads and fall into bed exhausted. Grandparents, especially single ones or ones with disabilities, have been isolated, missing births and birthdays, big Easter dinner gatherings, and family reunions.

There is no single recipe to reconnect families. But people who put aside time for making sourdough bread can also devote a few minutes a day to reading to children. Grandparents, parents, teachers, librarians, book club and senior center members, and others can get more information at www.readtokids.us and order the Adventures of Arry series paperbacks or Kindle copies from Amazon.com.

Denise Meridith
Denise Meridith Consultants Inc
email us here

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