The Reach Out and Read Board of Directors is very pleased to
welcome two new members, Dipesh Navsaria and Susan Hildreth, who
both bring their extraordinary talent and vision to the
organization. Dipesh and Susan are both strong Reach Out and Read
advocates, and are characterized by their ability to think across
boundaries, using their respective specialties in pediatric
medicine and librarianship to influence the field of early
Dipesh Navsaria is
a one-of-a-kind primary-care pediatrician, with degrees in public
health and children's librarianship, along with his work in child
health advocacy. He is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the
University of Wisconsin, Founder and Director of Pediatric Early
Literacy Projects at the University of Wisconsin, and founding
medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.
According to his website, Dipesh is a
"siruclast" - his own term for someone who thinks broadly and makes
connections via different schools of thought and approaches to
problems. His website also explains why he's often seen
wearing a bowtie - six reasons starting with "They're refreshingly
Earlier this month, Dipesh was
selected to join the 2015 class of Aspen Institute Ascend Fellows
in recognition of his work building "economic security, educational
success, and health and well-being for low-income families in the
"As an undergraduate research
assistant, I worked down the hall from the location where Reach Out
and Read first began at Boston City Hospital," says Dipesh.
"As both the program and I have 'grown up', it's a delight to
have remained involved and to now serve the national organization
in this capacity."
Susan Hildreth has
had a more than 30-year-long distinguished career in the leadership
of public libraries. After positions as the City Librarian of San
Francisco Public Library, State Librarian of California and the
City Librarian of Seattle Public Library, in 2011 President Obama
swore her into a four-year term as Director of the Institute of
Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
At IMLS, Susan developed grant
programs and initiatives to provide $857,241,000 for museum and
library programs that supported lifelong learning, with a strong
emphasis on early learning, STEM-related projects and
A firm believer in collective
impact - "what we can accomplish when we partner effectively with
each other to address society's needs," - Susan is interested
in continuing to promote connections between early learning and
libraries. She led efforts to integrate Reach Out and Read with
California public libraries, and has helped Reach Out and Read
negotiate a grant that will improve collaboration with libraries
and museums to better serve local communities.
"Reach Out and Read is making a big
difference in the lives of children across America," said Susan.
"Reach Out and Read and libraries are natural partners to enrich
reading opportunities for families and I hope to strengthen those
We are thrilled to have such uniquely qualified and passionate
advocates join our board!
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