The right to a safe, comfy bedtime for all children

Michael Barrett  //  Dec 8, 2017

The right to a safe, comfy bedtime for all children

Many of our favorite childhood memories are of our families reading aloud a favorite book before bedtime. Whether it was curling up to Clifford the Big Red Dog or begging our parents to let us read “just one more chapter” of Harry Potter, we felt secure and comforted by the power of a good book, cozy PJs and a restful night’s sleep.

Sadly, this scenario is not true for many children in U.S., especially those who face the uncertainty of living in homeless shelters or temporary housing. Many displaced children do not have access to basic clothing, not to mention home libraries. Since 2001, the Pajama Program has made it a mission to ensure every child has a safe, restful bedtime, to ultimately ensure every child has a good morning to grow and learn.

During the holiday season, it’s important to remember to help those who may not have access to many routines that we deemed customary in our childhood. In a recent “Life of a Reader” blog post, Judy Newman, President and “Reader-in-Chief” of Scholastic Book Clubs, talks about her visit to a Pajama Program reading room in New York City. Judy explains the power of how a good book and clean clothes — things we often take for granted – can help a child thrive. 

As part of our ongoing work with Pajama Program, we are calling on readers to donate a pair of new pajamas this holiday season through our 9th annual Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive. For every in-school or individual pajama donation, Scholastic Book Clubs will match a new book for every child to help all children experience the joy and comfort of bedtime reads.

To learn more and participate in, visit


Last week, I was at an event at the Pajama Program reading room in NYC. I told a group of truly brilliant, inspiring, and joyful fourth graders that I could not draw and thus never aspired to be an illustrator.

They were hearing none of that.

Hands went up in the air and they started telling me—emphatically—that I should not say that. That everyone can draw and that I should not put myself down and that I should just try.

I can’t begin to express here how moved I was by this group of kids, who don’t have much in the way of material possessions but have an abundance of passion and determination. They bowled me over.

Speaking of which—Scholastic Book Clubs’ annual Pajama Program pajama and book drive is in full swing. Your class donates brand-new pajamas for kids living in shelters, and Scholastic Book Clubs matches each pair of pj’s with a brand-new book. Our goal this year is 100,000 pairs of new pajamas and 100,000 brand-new books to help kids in need have a safer and cozier good night. So if you are able, please join the pajama drive.