As a former junior high school English teacher, Judy saw firsthand how difficult it was for hardworking parents to find time to visit the library, select appropriate books, and read aloud to their children. This problem was compounded for parents new to the English language. Indeed, many parents – whether immigrants or native born – did not understand how important it was to become a child’s “first teacher” by reading aloud to the children long before they first entered school.
Judy eventually left teaching and joined the family business at RSP, a manufacturing firm in Fremont, California where a majority of employees were immigrants learning English. While these men and women were seeking a better life for themselves and their children, they had no time to hone their own and their children’s reading and English comprehension skills.
During her teaching career, Judy had taken courses given by children’s literature specialist Kay Goines. Judy hired Goines to recommend quality, age and culturally appropriate hardcover books that would best serve the needs of RSP employees. She also created audio tapes of Goines reading the books aloud. Soon a library of these specially selected books and accompanying audio tapes were made available to employees. Employees were immediately enthusiastic about the program. Both parent and child working together improved their English language and comprehension skills by reading aloud and listening to the tapes.
When the RSP firm was sold in 1997, Judy made the Bring Me A Book concept a personal, continuing priority. She continues to serve on the Board of Directors and provides key funding for core operating expenses.
After selling the company, Judy Koch officially founded Bring Me A book as a non-profit and opened its doors to promote children’s literacy.
Today Bring Me A Book is a volunteer-organization serving children ages 0-8 in under-resourced communities within Silicon Valley. Bring Me a Book has national and international outreach through its affiliates in other parts of the country and world.