Read Aloud launches BookBaby Shirt campaign to support literacy in WV

Charleston – Read Aloud West Virginia has launched its 2024 BookBaby Snap-bottom Shirt
campaign as both a fundraiser and reminder of the value of reading to children.
Baby shirts are available for purchase here:
The cotton baby shirt featuring a design by Charleston artist Brenda Pinnell of HepCatz Design,
makes an ideal gift. Proceeds support Read Aloud WV.
Raleigh and Greenbrier counties are home to longstanding Read Aloud activity. We host book
distributions, place many volunteer readers, and hold Summer Book Binges designed to curb
summer learning loss in these areas. We also have dedicated local chapters in Fayette and
Nicholas counties, and a newly-developing chapter in Summers County.
Research shows that children who connect reading with pleasure and have access to print
books read more and become more proficient readers. The habit starts early as parents and
caregivers read to babies.
“Singing, rhyming words, naming things, and reading books to children all help prepare children
to read by school age,” said Read Aloud Executive Director Dawn Miller. “It‘s astonishing
sometimes how beneficial just reading for fun can be.”
Neuroscientists have found that reading to children causes the brain to establish networks of
brain cells that are used later when children learn to sound out words.
“A Read Aloud onesie is a nice, gentle reminder of creating healthy reading habits,” Miller said.
“You can hang the sign right on the baby’s belly. Also, you can never have too many onesies.
“We hope grandparents, aunts, and uncles like the shirts as gifts,” Miller said. “By giving a shirt
to a future reader in the family, they are spreading the word about the importance of reading to
kids, and at the same time supporting Read Aloud in helping kids all over West Virginia discover
pleasure in reading.”
Read Aloud’s mission is to motivate children to WANT to read, because motivation is the critical
first step in developing any skill. Read Aloud involves families, the medical community,
businesses, civic groups, and the society at large in building a culture that values reading.
Read Aloud is a statewide nonprofit and volunteer network working to improve childhood literacy
since 1986. Hundreds of Read Aloud volunteers visit classrooms all across West Virginia to

read to children each week. Read Aloud distributes more than 20,000 books to children every
For more information about raising strong readers, or to schedule an interview with Dawn Miller,
please contact Joe Severino at the information above.