Mt. Sinai Reads Aloud with YPG Cares

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If you work in publishing, there’s one thing almost every editor, publisher, sales rep, and publicist can agree on, and that’s the excitement of Summer Fridays. A treat at the end of the week—a half-day on Friday in exchange for working an extra forty-five minutes per day Monday through Thursday—makes the New York heat a little more bearable. This past summer, members of YPG Cares spent their half-days of glory doing something far more rewarding than attending local happy hours. Every Friday afternoon, groups of volunteers gathered in East Harlem at Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital to read to a group of sometimes overactive, sometimes scared, and most often than not, sick little children.

If you can remember as far back as I can, you can clearly remember the daunting, or better yet horrifying experience a visit to the hospital was as a child. Well, in East Harlem, children poured in by noon and the waiting room was packed. And we all know the only thing worse than seeing a doctor is waiting for him, letting the anxiety build. That’s where YPG Cares members came in: toting books old and new, we plopped down at a table and immediately, interests were piqued. Kids of all ages ran over, picking out their favorite title for a YPG member to read aloud to the group. Some titles, as YPG co-chair Mark Gottlieb remembered “were asked to be read over five times in one sitting.” Left to their own creative discretion, some volunteers brought arts and crafts activities, some read to children lying in beds in their hospital rooms, and some opened books in the waiting room while children clung to them like rhesus monkeys.

In the end, the YPG Cares Summer Reach Out and Read program was a huge success. The children being treated at Mt. Sinai were enthused about books while socializing with other children and, most importantly, forgetting they were in a hospital. So get pumped for this summer’s continued programming at Mt. Sinai once Summer Fridays begin. Stay tuned for updates!


Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. For more information, visit

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