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  • Writer's pictureAllan Shedlin

Independence Day Reminder: Read with Your Kids and Get Your "Booster" Shot

Updated: 3 hours ago

By Scott Beller

Editor, Daddying blog

Philadelphia's Park Central Free Library, site of the 2024 Daddying Film Festival & Forum

There's been a lot of talk of "immunity" lately. Who wants it, who deserves it, who or what may provide it? But unlike the height of the pandemic, most of that talk, unfortunately, has nothing to do with lifesaving COVID vaccines and boosters for new variants.

The founding Daddy of this blog and the Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F), Allan Shedlin, has too often had to write in this space about how to parent while living during a time when the world seems to be spinning faster and less steadily on its axis. And so it continues this week.

Today, we usually celebrate this country's successful fight for independence from a mad king. Yet, here we are 250 years of supposed progress later, facing almost daily threats to our freedoms, democracy, equal rights, and the rule of law. Notably, those threats are mostly coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE (and Senate, and state and federal courts...)! It would be an understatement (though oddly poetic) to say these coordinated attacks have been...more "taxing" than those of the 1770s.

The good news is that there is one surefire cure strong enough to inoculate an entire democratic nation yearning to breathe free. That cure is informed voting. Vigilance is key and every election serves as your booster shot.

I say, "informed voting" because the road to casting a ballot requires regular infusions of information (and knowing how to distinguish it from mis/disinformation). I would argue the developmental process all begins the first time you sit your child on your lap for a story. That's right, the way we help raise thoughtful and informed voters is by reading to our children from the time they are infants, thereby establishing their lifetime love of books and reading that will fuel their creativity and desire to explore and question the world around them.

For the past four years, we have published a special Books to Read with Your Kids Holiday Gift Guide to promote not just literacy and parent-child connection, but also critical thinking, tolerance, and compassion. All things that can be applied at the ballot box.

So, this holiday weekend while you're taking a break from the daily grind and relentlessly chaotic news cycle, pick up a good book or three from our most recent gift guide or your local library, read to or have your kids read to you, and remember to get your "booster" on November 5.

Daddy on and happy birthday, America!


Scott Beller is the proud, imperfect crew dad of two mighty girl rowers, imperfect husband of a rock-star mom/regatta chaperone, truth teller, former soccer coach, part-time driving instructor, photobomber, purveyor of banned books, Editor of the Daddying blog, and Director of Communications for DCG and D3F. He's a seasoned writer and PR agency veteran with more than 30 years of experience helping organizations of all sizes reach audiences and tell their stories. Prior to launching his own creative communications consultancy in 2003, he led PR teams with some of the world’s most respected agencies, including Fleishman-Hillard and The Weber Group. As a consultant, he’s helped launch two other parenting advocacy nonprofits with DCG founder Allan Shedlin. His first book, Beggars or Angels, was a ghostwritten memoir for the nonprofit Devotion to Children's founder Rosemary Tran Lauer. He was formerly known as "Imperfect Dad" and Head Writer for the Raising Nerd blog, which supported parents in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and creative problem solvers. He earned his BA in Communications from VA Tech.


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