We are delighted to honor Eileen FitzPatrick with the Reach Out and Read of Greater New York Impact Award, in recognition of her integral role in starting Reach Out and Read in New York and her dedication and fortitude as board chair during the organization’s early years.
Eileen began with Reach Out and Read as a volunteer.
“I loved working with families and showing parents books, encouraging them to read to their child from birth on. It didn’t matter if they couldn’t read. We’d look at the pictures and tell a story. You realize the child just wants to sit on your lap and be engaged that way.”
As board chair, Eileen reports on the thrill of getting the organization’s very first grants, which required tenacity and perseverance on behalf of ROR GNY’s early leaders.
“It’s hard to get one unless you have one. So we were so excited and felt validated when we were finally awarded. The early stages of an organization like this are intense. They are hands-on; you just pursue every avenue you possibly can. Rejoice when things go right and move on when things don’t.”
Eileen watched the organization grow and roll out in new hospitals.
“As we grew we truly became the organization that served ‘Greater New York.’”
Eileen reflects on her time with the organization with happiness and pride. She loved her time as a volunteer as well as her tenure as board chair.
“The premise is simple. Reach Out and Read of Greater New York gets books into the hands of the children who need them.”