PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Reach Out and Read program at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children is celebrating 20 years of providing patients with brand new books at their visits.
On Monday a special book shop in Fishtown joined that effort, dropping off 100 books in the spirit of a Black female pioneer.
Harriet Tubman never learned to read or write, and that is why Jeannine A. Cook, the shopkeeper at Harriett's Bookshop has a mission of making sure as many children as possible have that opportunity.
Through generous donations, she brought the first batch of 100 books for the patients at St. Christopher's.
"We have a bookstore, so we see what it looks like when children walk into the children's room and see a brand new book, especially a book with a character that looks like them on the cover, and reminds them of themselves," says Jeannine A Cook, the shopkeeper at Harriett's Bookshop. "We know that is a special moment."
That is why Cook says she was passionate about making sure her curated collection of books reaches these kids.
The book drop is part of an ongoing partnership formed through St. Christopher's "Reach Out and Read" program, which supports literacy efforts in North Philadelphia.
"There's nothing better than giving a brand new book to a child who really connects with it," says Dr. Daniel Taylor, a pediatrician at St. Christopher's and Co-Director of Reach Out and Read program.
"The smile on their faces puts a smile on the parents' faces. We love when the kids leave our practice and actually have that book in hand and they grip it so tightly. It's the greatest gift we can give as pediatricians."
They usually raise money through a basketball tournament, but this year, because of the pandemic, they are hosting a reading tournament.
The program has given away 800,000 new books to patients and provided literacy guidance to families for the past two decades.
Fishtown book shop drops off 100 books to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children