March 17,

A Book on Every Bed

December 5, 2016 – Peterborough Families Urged to Open Up New Chapters for Children With the Gift of Reading

When children wake up to open their presents this holiday season, local parents and caregivers are encouraged to include a gift-wrapped book in the mix.

Peterborough Public Health is asking families to turn a page on the usual gift-giving by starting a new holiday book tradition. It’s part of the Book on Every Bed campaign (, which is designed to provide children with the gift of reading every holiday season.

“Books may seem old-fashioned, but are a great way to unplug from electronic devices and spend quality time together as a family,” says Leisa Baker, a Public Health Nurse with Peterborough Public Health. “Reading together also helps to stimulate a child’s speech and language skills, which is critical for future success.”

The Book on Every Bed campaign works this way. Parents and caregivers are asked to pick a book (be it new, donated or a cherished one passed down from one generation to the next) for their child. Baker urges parents to select a book that is age-appropriate and appealing for the child. Books with repetitive and rhyming text, as well as plenty of pictures and interactive features such as holes or flaps for lifting, can be a hit with older toddlers and preschoolers, she notes. For older children who are less inclined to read, choose a story with an exciting plot that will grab their attention and make them want to read.

“Once a book is chosen, wrap it up and place it at the foot of your child’s bed,” Baker adds. “When your child wakes up, the book will be the first thing he or she sees. By making it an annual holiday tradition, your child will look forward to it year after year.”
Families can also incorporate reading into other activities over the holidays. These include: picking a family favourite book and reading it aloud each year; listening to a favourite audio book while baking cookies, driving to visit families or wrapping gifts; and checking out and reading library books that focus on another culture’s winter celebrations.

Locally, there are resources to encourage reading and support children’s speech and language skills. Families can visit the KidTalk Preschool Speech and Language Services website ( or call Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000.
For further information, please contact:
Leisa Baker, Public Health Nurse
(705) 743-1000, ext. 312

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