New and Noteworthy

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You can make a difference this holiday season!  Please join us in our partnership with Barnes & Noble - together we can give the gift of literacy to thousands of children in Connecticut and Massachusetts!

Check out our video! 

B&N Bookdrive

You can support our work through December 31 by participating in Barnes & Noble's Holiday Book Drive!  Purchase a book at one of the following 19 Barnes & Noble locations and it will be donated to Reach Out and Read Connecticut and Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts: Pittsfield, Bellingham, Braintree, Walpole, Hingham, Cape Cod Mall, Millbury, Dartmouth, Worcester, Prudential Center, Burlington, Framingham, Leominster, Peabody and Saugus

In Connecticut: Manchester, Stamford, Canton and West Hartford

Let's work together to ensure all of our children get a bedtime story this holiday season!  Thank you!

"Will I Get A Book Today?"

That's a question often heard by pediatricians in bustling clinics throughout Greater Waterbury as they greet young children for their checkups.

Much to the delight of children, the answer is nearly always "YES!" thanks in part to Connecticut Community Foundation's grant to Reach Out and Read, which gave 2,300 books to more than 1,150 children in Greater Waterbury through their medical providers in 2016. The brand-new, high-quality books are often classics, such as How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Since many families served by Reach Out and Read can't get to a library or afford books, often books received from their medical providers are the only ones children have.

"The research is clear," says Christine Garber, director of development for Reach Out and Read of Connecticut and Massachusetts, "that, on average, the language skills of children from low-income families are 12-14 months behind by the time they get to kindergarten."

Reach Out and Read aims to change that through a proven approach that taps into the trusted relationship among children, parents and their medical providers and reinforces the idea that reading aloud to young children 15-20 minutes per day is the best way to foster early literacy skills.

They train medical providers in the region who treat under-insured families and provide books for them to give to children while educating parents on the importance of reading aloud daily to their children.

It's working.

"This is an invaluable 'win-win' opportunity to encourage the family to read to their child, to discuss a child's development and to create a home library for the child as he or she grows," said Dr. Linda Matthew of Alliance Medical Group in Waterbury.

Angela Barrows, a physician's assistant at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, concludes, "When hardly a day goes by without a child asking for a book, you know you have reached some level of success."

Yes, they have.

You can also read the article here.

2017 Wyntress Smith Award Winners

Wyntress had a special way of making you feel as though you were the only thing that mattered in her day. When she was with you she gave you her undivided attention. As one coworker described her, "Wyntress was unerringly serene and kind." Her serenity sometimes masked her passion and her tireless work in her promotion of literacy. Evening meetings, weekend seminars were her typical week. And yet, she never missed an opportunity to sit down with a child in a waiting room and crack open a book. In recognizing staff, who "go above and beyond," the Wyntress Smith Award honors the memory of someone very special to Reach Out and Read.

Wyntress Smith Award -2

Brian Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer
Diane Malcolmson, Chief Development Officer
Christine Garber, Director of Development, Connecticut and Massachusetts
Callee Boulware, Executive Director, Carolinas
Polly McClure, Statewide Coordinator, Alabama

Wyntress Smith Award -1

Christine Garber, Director of Development, Connecticut and Massachusetts
Callee Boulware, Executive Director, Carolinas
Amy Erickson, Executive Director, Georgia
Polly McClure, Statewide Coordinator, Alabama
Jill Sells, MD, Executive Director, Washington State


"A 12-Step Program for Responding to President-Elect Trump"


Check out Reach Out and Read's latest mention in a New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof!

#9. "I can support Reach Out and Read, an outstanding program that helps at-risk kids learn to read," says Kristof as he encourages us to each do what we can in our own lives to make sure that the needy aren't forgotten in these uncertain times.

We are honored that Nicholas Kristof recognizes Reach Out and Read's work supporting the strength and stability of families and children!

The Good News About Educational Inequality 

A recent article in the New York Times Sunday Review section cited Reach Out and Read as part of an important-and encouraging-trend that is big news for children and parents in this country. In this piece, the authors discuss the apparent paradox that the performance gap between high-income and low-income children has begun to shrink, even though the economic inequality is worsening.  In other words, they explain, "Children entering kindergarten today are more equally prepared than they were in the late 1990s."

This improvement, they argue, is directly related to the parenting practices which help low-income children. The article goes on:  "Why are low-income families now adopting these parenting practices? It may be partly a result of public information campaigns like Reach Out and Read...."  You can read the full article here.

The Good News About Educational Inequality

Connecting Social and Emotional Health and Literacy: Critical for Early School Success

CHDI ReportReach Out and Read was honored to be included in the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc.'s recent publication, Connecting Social and Emotional Health and Literacy: Critical for Early School Success. This latest publication explores the link between young children's social-emotional development and early literacy and language skills. The report highlights the important work of Reach Out and Read and how our literacy initiative is designed to elevate the importance of reading, enable especially children in low-income families to bring books into the home, and to connect children to books in places that are part of children and their families' regular routines. See here to download the whole report or a one-page summary. Special thanks to the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. for showcasing our work and helping spread awareness about the critical connection between social-emotional development and literacy in children's early school success!

Reach Out and Read Connecticut and United Way of Greater Waterbury!

United Way of Greater Waterbury Logo

Take a look at a new video highlighting Reach Out and Read Connecticut's partnership with United Way of Greater Waterbury. We are proud to partner with them and their help is critical to our program's success in Waterbury. Watch here to learn more about how we work together to make a difference in the lives of our Waterbury residents.


Reach Out and Read Improves Family and Child Health Outcome Through Primary

Elephant in the Clinic 2

A new article, The Elephant in the Clinic, examines the multifaceted role of Reach Out and Read in the promotion of early literacy and family well-being through primary healthcare. Our approach - and early literacy promotion - is more than a mere clinic-based book giveaway. Read the whole article here and see why there's so much more to the Reach Out and Read model than meets the eye.


Nick Kristof and Reach Out and Read

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After including Reach Out and Read in his 2013 Holiday Giving Guide, Nick Kristof continues to support our mission.

See his mentions of Reach Out and Read in his New York Times articles, Beyond Education Wars and The Way to Beat Poverty.

Don't miss Kristof's new book, A Path Appears.  Both educational and empowering, A Path Appears explores the science of giving, and tells the story of people and organizations on the front lines of social progress, effecting real change.  Reach Out and Read is incredibly honored to be featured in this guide to the transformative power of action.

Chris With Kristof & Wu Dunn

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn with Christine Garber,   
Connecticut Executive Director for Reach Out and Read - October 23, 2014.    


American Academy of Pediatrics Launches Books Build Connections Toolkit for Pediatricians and Parents

Perri And Hillary AAP National Convention 2014

Dr. Perri Klass, Reach Out and Read National Medical Director, with Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

At the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in San Diego, CA, Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled the highly anticipated early literacy toolkit for pediatricians and parents.  Please watch the unveiling here.  

Research studies demonstrate that by age four, children in middle and upper class families hear 30 million more words than their lower income peers.  This disparity between the lower and middle/upper classes is known as the "achievement gap" and sadly, Connecticut posts the highest achievement gap in the nation.  The toolkit is designed to help close this gap - a tool we very much need in our state. 

The toolkit is designed for both pediatricians and parents and can be found at:  Please read and share!


AAP Policy Statement Recommends Early Literacy Promotion as a Standard Part of Pediatric Primary Care!

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(l-r) Brian Gallagher, Reach Out and Read Executive Director; Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Greg Worrell, President of Scholastic's Classroom and Library Group; and Fan Tait, MD, FAAP, Associate Executive Director of AAP and Director, Department of Community and Specialty Pediatrics.

Watch video of Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement on June 24, 2014 here.

Watch President Obama's message to parents about closing the word gap here.  

June 24, 2014 -Denver, CO - At the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting in Denver, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a new collaborative effort of Too Small to Fail, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Scholastic Inc. and Reach Out and Read to raise awareness among parents about early language development. For the first time the AAP will promote early literacy-beginning from an infant's very first days-as an "essential" component of primary care visits.  Through this commitment, the partners will ensure that doctors, parents and caregivers have the information, tools and books they need to promote reading out loud to children every day starting in infancy. The effort takes a multi-pronged approach toward equipping parents with the best tools to ensure that their children are prepared to learn as they enter school:

  • Too Small to Fail and the AAP - an organization representing 62,000 pediatricians - will share messages across their networks and media platforms about the importance of talking, reading out loud and singing to children from birth in order to build vocabulary and promote healthy brain development.
  • To jump start the partnership, Scholastic has donated 500,000 new, age-appropriate children's books for distribution through Reach Out and Read, the non-profit organization that works with 20,000 medical providers nationwide to promote early reading and give books to families at pediatric visits.
  • Reach Out and Read will also distribute a toolkit to be developed by the AAP, with support from Too Small to Fail, which will equip pediatricians with resources to educate parents on how to use everyday activities to improve communication with their infants and toddlers. 

The AAP's policy statement is a true validation of the work we are doing at Reach Out and Read to encourage families to read together and develop critical early literacy skills in children before they enter pre-school and kindergarten.

Read more about the AAP policy recommendation and CGI collaborative at:

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Above: Dr. Leora Mogilner, a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital, gave a book to Kaylee Smith, 9 months, and guidance to her mother, Tameka Griffiths, 33. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

  Local Connecticut Impact
73 Reach Out and Read Programs
39,872 Children Served Annually
73,986 Books Distributed Annually
U.S. Totals
4.7 million
children served annually

Reach Out and Read's thousands of doctors and nurses promote early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.

Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
89 South St, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02111