A hospital stay can be sad and scary, especially for a child. To help sick kids and in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd and the NEA's Read Across America Day, the Council for Professional Recognition decided to bring sick kids the joy of escaping with a good book. Our goal was to show the healing power of imagination, imagery and escape books bring to young lives. We wanted encourage reading as part of healing - a joyful act, and transformative health experience for young children, families and communities. Reading is also important for sick kids whether they're being read to or reading alone.
The Reading is Healing campaign relied on early educators from throughout the U.S. and world to donate new or gently used children's books to our office. We committed to supporting sick kids in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area hospitals Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Maryland and Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. Sick children recovering in those affiliated hospitals will receive and read your generous donations. Hundreds of early childhood educators in the U.S. and worldwide
The Reading is Healing campaign was suggested by our social media manager. As an organization that credentials early childhood educators who work with children ages zero to five, the Council knows the importance and impact of reading to healthy kids.
Our objective was to collect one hundred or more books for children ages zero to 8 years old. We received nearly 1500 books in English and Spanish!
The Council worked with two nationally known hospitals to understand the need for books, (Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Maryland and Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C) the ages and languages of the children who were often hospitalized for days, weeks and months. We used our extensive network and reach to promote the donation of age appropriate books children and their families could read during hospital visits and even take home. The Council built and executed a four week integrated campaign that included social media: Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Linkedin, Email Marketing, Landing page, Banner on our main site, newsletter and blog that called for book donations. We shared our progress via social media, accepted posts and comments, and the books poured into the Council…literally for weeks after the Reading is Healing book drive had ended.
Our book drive touched the hearts of thousands of early childhood educators throughout the U.S. Hundreds of these teachers responded immediately with more than 1500 donated books that poured in from 47 states to the Council's headquarters office in Washington, D.C.
Online, the support for sick kids was demonstrated in new records in reach and engagement. Small numbers for many companies, like rain on aired land for us. During the six week campaign, reach and engagement on numbers on Facebook and Instagram showed we awakened our audience! Both social media sites achieved new highs with three posts peaking at 1.4K and 1.3K (twice). Prior to those numbers anything above 500 was considered great! Engagement was boosted by those four digit reach numbers with scores of 66/42, 46/32/43/44 – again huge numbers compared to past efforts by our organization.
The best results came when the Council staff delivered hundreds of books to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Maryland and Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. The staff were amazed. Knowing this campaign reached the hearts and minds of hundreds of sick kids and benefited their families. It also unified co-workers and customers who also understand the power of a good story and the little benefits a story brings to someone or so many who need that magical escape.