Dr. Dipika Sharma is a pediatrician at
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Her office is one of the new
additions to our Reach Out and Read Georgia coalition. Dr. Sharma
is also ROR GA's newest advisory board member and recently spoke at
our Advisory Board Leadership Reception. Her presentation was
inspirational; she connected every milestone in her life with a
Dr. Sharma grew up in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
As her mother and father were employed as a teacher and doctor,
respectively, education and health were the two most important
values in the household.
Dr. Sharma fondly remembers school vacations she and
her siblings would spend exploring the city's only library.
"It was a big deal to go to the library," Dr. Sharma
Dr. Sharma says books motivated her to do well in
school. The top students in the class would get a book as a
"Books are the best resources to satisfy a child's
curiosity. You learn about worlds beyond your own. That they speak
differently languages in different countries and wear different
"Every time I give a book to an underprivileged child,
it gives the parents the opportunity to read and bond with their
kids. It introduces new vocabulary, new words, and it gives kids
the opportunity to look back on time spent with mom and dad."
Dr. Sharma says thanks to resources and support
provided by Reach Out and Read, her patients and their families
look forward to the book distributions and many are building their
own at-home libraries.
"The books also make office visits so much easier.
Developmental milestones are apparent when I can see the child
interact with the book. it's been an amazing process."
Dr. Sharma reports that approximately 90% of her
patient-population is state funded, so buying books would not be a
financial priority in their households.
"By giving the books away, we are nurturing a healthy
Dr. Sharma reflects, "With good health and good
education you can be anyone in the world. We are transforming a
family by giving away these books."