On November 30, 1999, the Vermont Business Roundtable publicly announced its Born to Read 2000 initiative. This $500,000 program was the first privately funded, early literacy effort in the nation to reach every newborn in a state.
Through the Born to Read 2000 initiative, the Vermont Business Roundtable provided every family in Vermont that had a baby born in that year, with a special bag of books, an audio tape, a video tape, and other learning-related materials. The bags were delivered by pediatricians and primary care physicians at each baby’s six-month well-baby visit. Along with the distribution of these bags, the Roundtable sponsored a major public information and media campaign about the importance of reading to young children.
The medical community, government, and the non-profit sectors were all important partners in working with the Vermont Business Roundtable in the development and implementation of this wonderful initiative.
In early 2001, the Vermont Business Roundtable turned the Born to Read initiative over to The American Academy of Pediatrics, Vermont Chapter, with continued financial assistance from the Roundtable membership for one year.