New and Noteworthy

See the Current Reach Out and Read Buzz.

Swimtime with Stewie the Duck meets Reach Out and Read!

Swimtime with Stewie the Duck

We are over the moon about our new partnership with Stew Leonard III Children's Charities, who very generously donated 4,000 copies of their water safety book, Swim Time with Stewie the Duck, to us. A wonderful first introduction to water safety, Swim Time with Stewie the Duck is a thoughtful, delightful, and important book for young children, parents, grandparents and caregivers. We are excited to be giving this book out and spreading the word about water safety through some of our Connecticut Reach Out and Read programs. Such an important message to share. Thank you so much Stew Leonard III Children's Charities. Your work is so very important.


Doctors Prescribe Books to Strengthen Parent-Child Bond

"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.  

 Dipesh CTMA Team 3.2018Dipesh CTMA Team 3.2018

 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 decades. Incredible!

Holyoke Ped Asso

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 in Connecticut

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.

Research -banner

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 studies.

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 Meta-analysis

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 child. 

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 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"


NYTLogo

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