What is Books To Grow On?

The Books to Grow On Program distributes a total of eight child-friendly,

age-appropriate books to each child in Cortland County through pediatrician offices during child well visits. Over 4,000 books and education materials for parents are distributed each year to families in our community.

Reading is a fundamental skill that children must have to be successful in life, and early parent-child bonding with books helps to foster and appreciation for learning. However, we know that nearly 70% of students in Cortland County are performing below or are only partially proficient in English Language Arts by the end of 3rd grade. The Books to Grow On Program is working to ensure that more children are ready for school and meeting this important milestone.

Are you a parent or guardian? We'd love to hear from you!

Our survey only takes a minute to complete and helps us track county-wide literacy and school readiness.

The Books to Grow On Program has distributed over 30,000 books to children in our community since 2006.

Research shows that families given books and guidance on reading by their pediatricians are 8-10 times more likely to read to their children.

The first years of life are critical for brain development. Of all the activities families do with their children, few have as powerful an impact on development as time spent together with books and reading aloud.

The Books to Grow On Program distributes 8 carefully selected books that mark important developmental milestones in a child's life.

Along with each book, parents receive a postcard with activities they can do with their child to promote their learning and development.

Our goal is to double the third grade reading proficiency in five years.

2015 3rd Graders Reading Proficiently = 20% 

2020 Goal: 3rd Graders Reading Proficiently = 40%

Books To Grow On Books

Our books have been carefully selected to be age-appropriate and fun for parents to read with their children. We have chosen them to promote healthy relationships between adults and children and issues that are impacting our community.

Hugs & Kisses

2 Months                  

Appropriate touch is key 

to making your baby feel safe 

and loved.

Eat Your Colors    

12 Months    
A healthy diet full of fruits and 
vegetables is important as your baby starts to eat solid foods.

Apple Pie ABC    

3 Years    
Children need to start learning their ABC’s, 123’s, colors and shapes to be ready for kindergarten.

Play, Play, Baby!    

4 Months    
Babies learn how the world around them works through play.

Brush, Brush, Brush!    

18 Months       
Children need a routine of brushing their teeth twice a day to promote healthy gums and teeth.

Come Clean for School    

4 Years    
As children start being exposed to more germs, good hygiene is important to stay healthy and in school.

Can You Say Moo! Moo! Too?    

6 Months    
Teaching your baby simple words and sounds is the beginning of their language development.

Five Little Monkeys    

2 Years      
Motor skills, including hand-eye coordination, are important to develop through play.

Participating Medical Practices:


Dr. Castellanos

Family Health Network Groton Ave.


Dr. Djafari

Family Health Network West Road


Cortland Health Center

Regional Medical Practice


Family Health Network Homer

Cortland Area
Communities That Care

33-35 Central Avenue
Cortland, NY 13045

Phone: (607) 299-4910

Matt Whitman
Coalition Director

Claudia Kolts
Design Assistant

What can we help you with?

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