Inaugural Librarian’s Club Event Announced!

Join us for the Inaugural Librarian's Club Happy Hour

Reach Out and Read Kansas City is excited to announce our inaugural Librarian’s Club event!

This exclusive event will take place on June 10th from 5-7 p.m. at one of Kansas City’s best places to combine your love of books and fun: Our Daily Nada, a “boozy bookstore” in Kansas City’s exciting River Market district (304 Delaware Street, KCMO,64105).


We truly appreciate our supporters and we love our Librarian’s Club! The Club, a group of dedicated literacy champions who donate $100 or more annually, launched in November 2018. We promised members goodies such as extra raffle tickets, invitations to exclusive events, and entries into special quarterly prize drawings.


We’re looking forward to celebrating our Librarian’s Club members on June 10th with great music and complimentary wine, and yummy snacks. We’ll also have beer and other drinks available for purchase.


But that’s not all! We’ll also support our mission through a free raffle to build a child’s summer library in a Librarian’s Club member’s name, and share summer reading recommendations together.


Not a member of the Librarian’s Club yet? Hey, friends don’t let friends miss out on fun ways to support our community! If you, or someone you know, wants to join this great group of Reach Out and Read Kansas City supporters, you can join the Librarian’s Club right here with your donation of $100 or more.

Check out this link for more information about the event.

Janice’s Bookshelf: May Recommendation

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The Wheels on the Bus
Illustrated by Annie Kubler
Published by Child’s Play International, Ltd.


Age Range: Board book version: 6-24 months, paperback version: 2-5 years


This is one book in a 20-book series called “Classic Books with Holes,” published by Child’s Play. There are board book versions which are perfect for the younger set (6-24 months) and paperback versions for those a bit older (2-5 years). These tried and true rhymes are as much fun to read as they are to listen to. What makes these versions special is that each page contains innovative die-cutting; children will have fun looking through the “holes” and predicting “what comes next.” We have provided books from this series for well child visits as part of the ROR-KC program as well. Of course, parent and child alike may end up singing through the pages, and this version of a classic has an added twist: each person getting on the bus is going to the same place. Can you guess where it is?


Bonus: Here’s a cute video of a mother and daughter singing/reading the board book version of this fun book.

– Janice Dobbs


Janice Dobbs has been the Book Coordinator for Reach Out and Read Kansas City for over 17 years. She’s responsible for purchasing, organizing, and managing the delivery of over 80,000 books annually to our partner clinics. 

Reach Out and Read Celebrates 30 Years

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30 years ago, you could find the Reach Out and Read program at one clinic in the Boston area. There were two pediatricians serving 500 children.


Today, the early childhood literacy program has grown to 32,700 providers at 6,000 healthcare facilities  nationwide! Each year, affiliates around the country, like Reach Out and Read KC, distribute more than seven million new books to 4.7 million children.





Reach Out and Read was founded by two forward-thinking doctors, Barry Zuckerman (pictured, left) and Robert Needlman, and a group of early childhood educators at Boston City Hospital, now called Boston Medical Center. The group was inspired by moms reading to children in the waiting room.


Today, there are affiliates in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C. The program serves one in four children living in poverty in the United States. Among the most noteworthy  milestones was this policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014, promoting literacy as an “essential component of pediatric primary care,” and referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention.


Locally, Reach Out and Read Kansas City celebrates 22 years as an affiliate of the national Reach Out and Read program this year. We were founded in 1997 by doctors Jean Harty and Michele Kilo and as a collaboration between Children’s Mercy Hospital and KU Pediatrics in The University of Kansas Health System.


Want more information about National Reach Out and Read? Click here to view a timeline of the organization’s history.

Staff Recipes: Almond Cake, Buffalo Dip, Shortbread and More!

If you’ve been involved with Reach Out and Read for awhile, you’ve no doubt tasted – or at least heard of – Janice’s famous Almond Cake. In her 18 years with ROR-KC, Janice Dobbs, our Book Coordinator, has made the cake dozens of times for events, and shared the recipe with numerous people. Lucky for us, she’s sharing it again now for everyone to enjoy!

At our recent volunteer appreciation event, other staff members contributed some of their favorite dishes as well, and we thought we’d include them all, just in case you have a hankering for a good buffalo dip (from Executive Director Jenny Horsley) or shortbread cookies (from Communications Coordinator Marianne Sharp) or meatballs with raspberry sauce (from Medical Director Sallie Page-Goertz).


Janice’s Almond Sheet Cake


1 cup Butter
1 cup Water
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
½ cup Sour Cream
2 whole Eggs
1-½ to 2 tsp. Real Almond Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
½ cup Butter (frosting)
¼ cup Milk (frosting)
3-½ to 4 cups Powdered Sugar (frosting)
1-2 tsp. Real Almond Extract (frosting)


Bring butter and water to a boil. Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl. Pour the boiling liquid over the flour and sugar and mix well. (I use a hand mixer)

Add the remaining ingredients and beat well.

Pour into a well-greased jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 for about 15-17 minutes. (top should be just beginning to get light brown) Once cake is out of the oven you should begin making frosting.


Bring butter and milk to a boil.  Add almond extract and then add powdered sugar in several increments—beating in between additions. Frosting should be thin enough to pour—need to do this quickly before frosting hardens up on cake.

From Executive Director Jenny Horsley:

Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

1 Rotisserie Chicken (or 2-3 chicken breasts), cooked & shredded

2 packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup Frank’s Red Hot – Original – they have a buffalo sauce, but I like the original better

1 Tbs Butter

1 cup of Ranch or Bleu Cheese Dressing (optional) – I usually do not add dressing, but it does make a difference, especially if you like bleu cheese.

2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In skillet, melt butter and mix in chicken and Red Hot Sauce. Once mixed well, add cream cheese and 1/2 cup of Mozz Cheese.  Once creamy pour into 8×8 pan. Add dressing if desired, then add remaining cheese on top evenly.

Bake for 20 minutes.

My pan is 9×9, so I used 3 pkg. cream cheese, but everything else was the same as using an 8×8 pan.

4 packages of cream cheese will fill a 9×13 pan. No need to double chicken, but I usually add another chicken breast – In a pinch I have even used canned chicken and it was fine. Increase Mozz. cheese by at least 1 cup.

Here is former Communications Coordinator, Marianne’s Sharp’s favorite recipe, Alison Roman’s Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies.

And Medical Director Sallie Page-Goertz uses Bob’s Raspberry Chipotle sauce on her meatballs – and it is scrumptious!


Race to Read 5K: A Big Win!




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They say the third time’s the charm…and our third annual Race to Read 5K certainly was a winner! 109 people signed up for the race, which was held on Saturday, April 6th at Corporate Woods. Thanks to our runners, sponsors and volunteers, we were able to raise over $6,000 to support our early childhood literacy program.










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Congratulations to our winners! Our top male finisher was Kevin Knowlton, who zoomed through the 5K course with a time of 16:15.534, and our top female finisher (and third overall) was Sydney Willard (pictured here, just before she crosses the pink finish line), who sped through in 22:51.001. You’ll find the full race results here.













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We also had a great kids fun run, complete with bubbles. Check out this cute winner!













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There were a lot of parent/child pairs that ran the 5K together. It was fantastic to see!














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A.J. Gaither of Mudflap Mafia (pictured here with ROR-KC  Advisory Board Member Liz Vasquez) provided a fantastic musical backdrop. If you’d like to catch the full band in action, check out their schedule.












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“It was a real team effort,” says ROR-KC Executive Director Jenny Horsley, (pictured at right with ROR-KC Medical Director, Sallie Page-Goertz). “Wild Cowboy Timing Company, Committee Chair Truss Tyson and our volunteers made sure things went smoothly, and our sponsors ensured that we could put on a great race while still raising funds for literacy.”








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Major sponsors included Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Kansas City, KeyBank and Lucas Commercial Flooring. Here is the full list of sponsors.


Thanks to everyone who took part in the 5K, as well as the many volunteers who helped us to organize and run the event, particularly Allie Younggren, who coordinated the volunteers on race day.


We got lots of great photos of runners and volunteers in action. Check out race photos here.