The Evanston Public Library in partnership with the Evanston Community Foundation’s Communityworks Initiative and Rotary International is proud to present an evening with Dana Suskind, M.D., author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain. The event will be on Thursday, September 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly recommended.   Online registration is now open at

Suskind is Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago, Director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program and Founder and Director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative. Based on scientific research that shows the critical importance of early language exposure on the developing child, Thirty Million Words helps parents enhance their home language environment in order to optimize their child’s brain development and, therefore, his or her ability to learn.  An evidence-based intervention, Thirty Million Words is supported by a broad coalition of public and private partnerships and is an extension of Dr. Suskind’s Project ASPIRE, which she created to assure that her patients from disadvantaged backgrounds reached their full listening and spoken language potentials.  Dr. Suskind’s ultimate goal, and that of her dedicated team, is to help all children reach their full potentials and to close the ever-widening achievement gap.

“At the Evanston Public Library we recognize that reading aloud to young children is a key gateway to learning, providing a lifetime of enjoyment and an early pathway to future success,” said Karen Danczak Lyons, Director of Evanston Public Library. “Establishing a solid base for pre-school learning through language development is critical. Sharing Dana Suskind’s work with our families continues the conversation and highlights the importance of reading together beginning at birth.”

“Advancing literacy is a priority in the eyes of many organizations based in Evanston, so we are pleased to join forces with the Evanston Public Library and Rotary International to introduce Dana Suskind’s message that parents can be actively involved in expanding their children’s life-long potential,” said ECF President and CEO Sara Schastok. “Suskind’s is one more voice supporting strategies that ECF’s Every Child Ready for Kindergarten initiative has promoted for the past decade to help close the achievement gap where it begins, in the first years of life.”

Copies of Suskind’s book Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain (Dutton/Penguin 2015) will be offered at a discounted rate at the event by Evanston bookseller Bookends and Beginnings and signed by the author.

Online registration is now open at  For more information visit or call 847-492-0990.