"If this was just a book give-away program, you wouldn't need us
(Reach Out and Read). This is a program that trains doctors who
work directly with families to intentionally build parenting
skills. It's really a parenting program," Dr. Dipesh Navsaria,
pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics at the
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health,
said. See Dr. Navsaria's full article here.
Dr. Navsaria with our
Connecticut and Massachusetts team.
Celebrating 20 Years of Reach Out and
Read at Holyoke Pediatric Associates!
What does a 20-year-old Reach Out and Read program look
like? It looks like Holyoke Pediatric Associates, where their
dedicated practitioners have given out more than 90,000 new books
to children as part of their well-child visit over the last two
Through the years, Holyoke Pediatric Associates has welcomed the
books they have received from Reach Out and Read but also realized
the need to privately fundraise in order to provide approximately
5,000 new books per year in support of their shared mission with
Reach Out and Read. Now that's dedication and commitment!
Their yearly fundraisers include:
- a donation insert in their semi-annual newsletter,
- a fall calendar raffle, and
- a personal letter from the Board President in early December
where real life stories of the excitement of a child receiving a
new book are shared.
Thanks to their local Barnes & Noble store, they have been
able to hold a bookfair in the store twice a year, one in the
spring and one before the holidays. These bookfairs not only help
their fundraising efforts, but also help to spread the word out
about Holyoke Reach Out and Read.
Their newest fundraiser was the idea of two board members. In
January 2018, they organized a monthly 50/50 raffle among the staff
members which has grown steadily in support each month. Finally,
proceeds from the staff "snack shop" also go to their Holyoke Reach
Out and Read program.
Because of the dedication and commitment of the staff,
practitioners and Board of Directors at Holyoke Pediatric
Associates, thousands of children and families benefit from the
Reach Out and Read intervention every year, for over two
decades. This is what 20 years of Reach Out and Read looks
like and it's a beautiful picture with endless outcomes and
opportunities for the children and families who have been a part of
this program. Thank you and keep up the great work!
New Reach Out and Read Research Underway
At Reach Out and Read, we continuously evaluate our
evidence-based model, striving to find ways to improve the emergent
literacy skills and school readiness of the children we
serve. Closing the achievement gap so that disadvantaged
children no longer lag behind their more advantaged peers continues
to be one of the long-term visions of our work. With that in mind,
we are delighted to announce the launch of a new Reach Out and Read
research study being conducted in Connecticut. Thanks to the
generous support of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr/ U.S. Bank
Foundation and The Grossman Family Foundation, the study, "Rx for
Success: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Technology-Based Dialogic
Reading Training Incorporated into the Reach Out and Read Program"
started enrolling families in April of 2018.
Principle Investigator, John Hutton, MS, MD and co-investigators
at the Reading and Discover Center of Cincinnati Children's Medical
Center have teamed up with Tom Lockman, Senior Director and
colleagues at the Innovation Lab of Children's Inc., (where the app
for the study was developed), Nikki Shearman, PhD of the Reach Out
and Read National Center, Catherine Wiley, MD of Reach Out and Read
Connecticut and Connecticut Children's Medical Center and the
Community Health Center, Inc./Weitzman Institute to conduct this
project. Based on a successful pilot study, this randomized
controlled trial aims to determine whether amplification of the
Reach Out and Read message through use of a mobile app improves our
impact on parent/child interactions, early language development and
early social-emotional development.
Families attending 6-month and 18-month well-child visits at
Community Health Center, Inc. @ Connecticut Children's Medical
Center will be invited to participate in the study. Families
enrolled in the intervention arm will be assisted in down-loading a
cell phone app providing access to videos that demonstrate talking
with babies and toddlers through the normal routines of the day and
model dialogic reading. The app also pushes out reminders, at a
frequency set by the family, to encourage families to enjoy simple
interactive activities with their young children. Control families
will also receive a children's book, "Baby Unplugged." Once in the
exam room, the Reach Out and Read intervention occurs as usual.
Information will be collected from families including demographics,
parents' interactions with their child, home literacy environment,
child's language development, social-emotional development and
family use of electronic devices. At follow up visits with the 248
enrolled families six months later, the instruments measuring
parent interactions, language, social-emotional development and
electronic usage will be repeated. At this time, we will include
families able to conduct their well-child visits in English, based
on power analysis, feasibility and funding in this pilot phase,
although we intend to include Spanish-speaking families in future
We look forward to seeing how this new app improves the outcomes
for the participating children and families in the study, and
modifying our model should the results be positive. Be on the
lookout for updates on the study and we hope to share the final
results in 2019.
Psychosocial Effects of Parent-Child
Book Reading Interventions: A
A new report published in Pediatrics
reviewed 19 randomized-controlled trials and
synthesized the effects of parent-child book reading (PCBR) on
psychosocial functioning of children and parents.
They found that PCBR has beneficial effects on both parents and
children. It positively impacts children's social-emotional
competence, quality of life and reading interest, and, for
parents, improves parenting competence, attitudes to reading
with their child, and the quality of their relationships with their
The analysis suggests that "shared reading as a meaningful
interaction between children and parents, rather than specific
reading techniques might be the key to the positive psychosocial
effects of PCBR interventions. We believe that PCBR is a low cost
and simply adapted approach for any parent-child dyad, no matter
what the circumstances."
2017 Wyntress Smith
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.
Brian Gallagher, Chief Executive
Diane Malcolmson, Chief Development Officer
Christine Garber, Director of Development, Connecticut and
Callee Boulware, Executive Director, Carolinas
Polly McClure, Statewide Coordinator, Alabama
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
The Good News About Educational
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.
Connecting Social and
Emotional Health and Literacy: Critical for Early School
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
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
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
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.
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn with Christine
Connecticut Executive Director for Reach Out and Read -
October 23, 2014.