Category Archives: Uncategorized

  • Study Finds Talking With Young Children has Impact on IQ a Decade Later

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    Parents and caregivers, here’s another reason to keep chatting with your children while reading to them. A study published recently in the Journal Pediatrics finds that talking with your child often, or “conversational turns,” may have a positive impact on the child’s language development and IQ as much as ten years later!

    Reach Out and Read’s National Medical Director, Perri Klass, co-authored a commentary that accompanied the study (she was not involved in the study itself), and calls the findings “especially remarkable, given the heterogeneity of children’s experiences as they grow up.” In the commentary, Klass and her co-author, Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, note that the “study findings support ‘primary prevention’ of disparities in development and school readiness, beginning early in life before their onset.” Klass and Mendelsohn cite Reach Out and Read as the “most established scaled program” in this area.

    This study is really heartening, and it supports our mission of increasing kindergarten readiness in at-risk communities by giving families the tools and training they need to succeed.

    Click here to read the full article from the Journal Pediatrics.

    Click here to read the commentary co-authored by Reach Out and Read’s National Medical Director Perri Klass.

    Click here to read an article from ABC News about the study.

  • Books On Tap a Major Success!

    Guests enjoying Books On Tap 2018 at the River Market Event Place Photo courtesy Jessica Janasz

    Guests enjoying Books On Tap 2018 
    Photo courtesy Jessica Janasz

    Thanks to all who attended our 7th annual Books On Tap happy hour networking event on September 13th at the River Market Event Place! You helped us raise $12,065(!) to support our mission of incorporating books into pediatric care and giving families the tools they need to improve kindergarten readiness.

     

    Local businesses, restaurants and breweries really came through for ROR-KC, making the event unforgettable. From Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang shrimp to Chipotle’s burritos, Schlotzsky’s sandwiches, Blue Sake’s Sushi and Donutology’s treats to beer from Boulevard, Casual Animal and the Big Rip, guests had a real feast. Hot 103 Jamz’s Lady T did a great job as emcee, and Airstream Lounge KC’s photo booth was a hit!

     

    We had a silent auction for the first time this year, along with a raffle, and the unique items – including a chance to design a ROR-KC “cause” blend at the Roasterie – made this a one-of-a-kind event.

     

    Congratulations and thank you to our generous guests, sponsors and donors, as well as the hard-working Books On Tap committee for a fun, successful event!

     

    See you next year!

     

    Click here to see the full photo gallery, courtesy of Jessica Janasz Photography.
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  • ROR-KC Welcomes New Communications Coordinator

    Marianne with her husband Richard, and their son, Eddie

    Marianne with her husband Richard, and their son, Eddie

    Reach Out and Read Kansas City is happy to welcome our new Communications Coordinator, Marianne Sharp. Marianne has spent 20 years in journalism, mostly at NPR stations. She’s been a reporter, managing editor and bureau chief, and covered state government for many years in California. She’s also worked as a college journalism instructor and preschool aide, and spends a lot of time volunteering in her 6-year-old son’s elementary school classroom and library. She’s very passionate about early childhood literacy and is thrilled to be working with ROR-KC. She’ll be working part-time, handling traditional and social media and helping with volunteers and events. If you have an idea for a newsletter or social media post, please let her know at msharp5@kumc.edu. She also reminds everyone who’s a fan of ROR-KC to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

     

    We wish the very best of luck to Christina Larkins, whose year-long Americorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) term with ROR-KC ended in late August. She came to us with a passion for early literacy and a dream to one day work as a children’s librarian. Over the past year, she’s worked tirelessly as the voice of ROR-KC and as a youth associate at the Plaza Library. She’s moving on to a new children’s library role. Thanks, Christina, for your hard work, and we wish you the best!

  • Unique Auction and Raffle Items: Books On Tap Won’t Disappoint!

    Books On Tap Icon Final2Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s annual networking happy hour, Books On Tap, is Thursday, September 13, from 5-8 p.m. at the River Market Event Place. We’ll gather to support literacy and enjoy appetizers and food from local restaurants and breweries and a unique raffle and silent auction. Check out some of the outstanding items below, and then Get your tickets here!

     

     

    Silent Auction Items:

     

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    Roasterie Coffee Experience: You and 6 friends will work closely with a Brew Master to taste, blend, and create a custom Reach Out and Read Kansas City Blend of Roasterie Coffee to be sold nationwide. $500 value

     

     

    Antiga Sage Lettering + Watercolor Workshop: Workshop for 8-10, receive your own hand lettering brush pen, get tips, tricks, and practice while creating your own work of art. $500 value

     

     

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    Marlee Hayes Artwork: One of a kind Marlee Hayes Artwork. $300 value

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Family Fun Basket: 4 passes to KC Renaissance Festival, 4 passes to KC Zoo, 4 passes to Science City, 4 passes to Union Station Planetarium, KC Mavericks swag, $30 Johnny’s Gift Card, 5 Andy’s concrete coupons, 4 Sealife Aquarium passes. $400 value

     

     

     

     

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    Beer Lovers Bundle:  2 passes to Barley Brew Tour of your choice, iTap Beer school for 10, Beer Kitchen $25 gift card, assorted beers. $350 value

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Portraits by Christopher Family Portrait: A beautiful 11×14 family portrait with a Masterpiece finish that is digitally painted. Brushstrokes are added to the canvas after printing, producing a perfectly proportioned painting that will last 200 years. $1500 value

     

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    Date Night Out: 2 tickets to Alamo Draft House + 2 food coupons, private lane for 1.5 hours at Blade and Timber, $20 Foo’s gift card, Cooper’s Hawk wine tasting. $240 value

     

     

    Samsung Sound Bar: Samsung Soundbar Series 9 HW-K950. $2000 value

     

     

    BMC MattressVoucher for a new mattress (up to $750) for a great night’s sleep! $750 value

     

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    Sporting KC Tickets + Parking Pass: Four tickets to the LA Galaxy game and a premium parking pass! You will not want to miss this! $650 value

     

     

     

     

    Bonefish Grill Excursion Experience: Four-course meal for 8. Includes a signature cocktail, wine with meal, assorted appetizers, salads, assorted entrees to taste, assorted desserts. $750 value

     

    Raffle Items:

     

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    I Love KC Basket: Raygun swag, Cityscape prints, 4 Kauffman Center tour passes, Tasty Thai Primal Cry Sauce, $25 Joe’s KC gift card. $135 value

     

    KC Swag Basket: $56 HyperKC T-shirt gift card, $50 Charlie Hustle gift card, KC Canvas Bag, $25 Beer Kitchen gift card. $141 value

     

    Reach Out and Woof Basket: 1 Year BarK membership and swag, treats unleashed gift card + treats, puppy pads, beer paws treats, pedigree chopped ground dinner, pet head gallon shampoo, “must love dogs” print. $333 value

     

    Date Night In Basket: Samsung TV, Popcorn, 2 bottles of wine, Nothing Bundt Cake. $300 value

     

     

    jewelry, steamer basket resizedMe, Myself, and Eye Basket: Final Touch Jewelry bracelet, Hamilton Beach Clothing Steamer, Kendra Scott Necklace, Becca 1.35 oz. makeup primer, Treat YoSelf print, Warby Parker gift card. $230 value

     

     

     

     

     

    Look Good, Feel Good Basket: 1-Three month Genesis Health Club, 60-minute massage from Element Wellness, $50 Bijin salon gift card. $280 value

     

     

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    Get Fit Basket: 1 month Orange Theory, 1 month MOJO  Cycling, Muscle Brownies, Chiefs Jersey – Richardson. $220 value

     

     

     

     

    hammerpress basket resized2Hammerpress Goodies: Two large prints, two smaller prints, two stacks of cards, stack of postcards. $150 value.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Disabled But Not Really Basket: Disabled But Not T-shirts + swag, 1-Three month Genesis Health Club, $25 Jack Stack gift card. $115 value

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    The Royal Package: Four voucher tickets to 2019 Royals game, Drew Butera jersey, Cityscape print, $25 Sailor Jack’s gift card.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    KU Basketball Tickets: 2 KU Pre-Season Tickets, $25 Jack Stack Gift Card. Value $225

     

     

     

     

    Sully’s Basket: Koozies, gift cards, liquor, Comedy Club tickets

     

    Librarians Club Member Raffle ONLY: Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Paper Source Card-making Party for 4-6, Final Touch Necklace

     

    Heads/Tails Raffle:— $1 entry (glowstick) Samsung Galaxy Tablet. $100 value

     

    Tickets to Books on Tap are $30 in advance, or $35 on September 13th, and include appetizers, three drink coupons, one raffle ticket and entry into the silent auction. Additional raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.

    You must be 21 (and bring your ID) to attend. Get tickets here!

  • For The Love of Books Breakfast: Huge Success

     

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    Thank you to everyone who attended Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s first-ever For the Love of Books Breakfast! With your help we raised over $84,000. Thank you to Dhomonique Ricks for keeping the morning on track. Special thank you to our Honorary Co-Hosts Kathleen and Bill Johansen, for being such supportive voices for ROR-KC’s read aloud mission. And a big thank you to the incredible Alastair Heim for giving us a peek into the mind and inspiration of a picture book author.

     
    Thanks again to all our sponsors who supported the event.

     
    Please view photos from the event, courtesy of Taylor Kelley, on the ROR-KC Facebook page. 

  • STUFF Holiday Shopping Party

    1 - CopyA Store Named STUFF in Brookside, MO is staying open late for a holiday shopping party benefiting ROR-KC. You will find the perfect, unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for individual on your holiday list. The party is on December 5th from 5:30 -7:00 pm Guests are invited to shop for literacy while enjoying light snacks and fun with friends.

    Sign up to attend here so you will receive a reminder!

    Follow the event on Facebook for more info. 

    What: STUFF Holiday Shopping Party

    When: December 5th 

    5:30 – 7:30pm

    Where: A Store Named STUFF

    316 W 63rd St.

    Kansas City, MO 64113

  • Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive

    B&N BOOK DRIVE SPLASH IMAGE - CopyFrom November 1st to December 31st, 2017, Barnes and Noble Leawood and Overland Park will be hosting their annual Holiday Book Drive benefitting Reach Out and Read Kansas City.

     

    Make a difference by purchasing a book for a child this season. The book selections, located behind the Barnes & Noble checkout counters, were hand-picked by Janice, ROR-KC’s Book Coordinator, for children in our 50 Kansas City metro area clinics. These book donations will be used during well-child assessments by medical providers, then given to children to take home and enjoy. Be an advocate for literacy and give the gift our medical team is prescribing, time for families to interact and snuggle up with a good book this holiday season.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Location:

    Barnes & Noble @ Town Center

    4751 West 117th Street

    Leawood, KS 66211

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    Barnes & Noble @ Oak Park Mall

    11323 W 95th St,

    Overland Park, KS 66214

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  • Help Restock Our Bookshelves

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    School may be out for summer, but it’s the busiest time of year for our partner clinics! Because summertime is the perfect time for families to schedule well-child visits, books have been flying off our shelves! Last year, in August 2016, we distributed over 8,800 brand new books.  As a result, our supply of books is dwindling low. We need your help to continue providing over 80,000 books to children in KC each year.

     

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    Many families who visit Reach Out and Read Kansas City clinics are struggling to cover basic household necessities … they would love to buy books for their children, but they simply can’t afford them.  61% of low-income families have no children’s books in their homes.  Owning a book and reading with parents can ignite a lifelong love of learning. Through new books and literacy counseling for parents, you instill a love of learning and a desire to learn more. In fact, research confirms that parents who interact with our program are more likely to read to their young children, read more often, and have more children’s books in their homes.

     

    Help us ensure every child recieves a book at their well-child visits.

     

    Make your gift go further by joining our monthly donating club, the Brain Builders.

     

  • Register Now for our First 5K Run/Walk, Race to Read!

    Reach Out and Read Kansas City (RORKC) is excited to announce our first 5K run on Saturday, August 26th at Swope Park. The 5K race and other kid-friendly activities will begin at 8 am.

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    When: Saturday, August 26th at 8 am

     

    Location: Swope Park (Battle of Westport Visitor Center)
    The race will be a 5K cross country course throughout the park.

     

    Entry Fee: $30
    Runners need to sign up by August 12th to be guaranteed a T-Shirt. There is no cost for kid-friendly events.

     

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    Packet Pickup: 
    Friday, August 25th from 5-7 pm
    Saturday, August 26th starting at 7 am

     

    Schedule on August 26th:
    7 am: Packet Pickup
    8 am: 5K Begins
    9 am: Children Relay Races Begin
    9:30 am: Awards and Raffle Prizes Announced

     

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    Family Fun:
    Starting at 8 am, face painting, and Molly Balloons will be on site for kids and at 9 am relay races will begin. Throughout the entire event, there will be live music provided by Mudflap Mafia.

     

    Sponsorship Opportunities:
    Interested in sponsoring the Race to Read 5K? View more information.

     

    Weather Cancellation Policy:

    The safety of our participants is the most important thing and if any threatening weather conditions are present the day of the event, the event may be delayed or canceled.
    View our Weather Cancellation Policy

     

    Volunteer Opportunities:
    If you would like to learn more about volunteering to read in a clinic with a child or how to volunteer for this race, please contact Jenny Horsley or call 913-588-2793.

  • Celebrating our 20th Anniversary: An Interview with Michelle

    IMG_4953Michelle is a second grader with a passion for reading.   “As soon as I get home from school, I like to go to my room and read,”  she states proudly.  Her family helped develop this love by reading aloud to her starting at birth.  They did this because of the books and literacy advice they received from their medical provider through the Reach Out and Read KC program.   Michelle was one of the nearly 30,000 children in KC that receives new books from their medical provider each year.

     

    After she started receiving the RORKC books, her father built a special bookshelf to store them.  Michelle is now 8 years old and no longer receives brand new books from her medical provider, but does take gently used books from the waiting room to continue her library.  “When I get a new book and I finish reading it, I put it on a bookshelf that my daddy made to keep it safe from other kids.”  said Michelle.

     

    Michelle loves reading because it’s fun! When asked about her favorite kinds of books, she responds, “I like books that make me laugh a lot and smile.  I like books about animals, princesses, all  kinds of books. ”

     

    Her family has also transitioned from solely reading aloud to her, to having Michelle practice reading aloud to them.  “I love reading aloud with my family because it makes them happy and it helps me become a better reader, ” Michelle says.

     

    We love your passion for reading Michelle!

     

  • Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary: We Love Our Volunteers!

    Volunteers are vital to the mission of Reach Out and Read Kansas City.  With a small staff, we rely on volunteers to help make our program successful. In celebration of National Volunteer Month, we’re highlighting  3 volunteers that make our program great.  Sally, Carol, and Justin are volunteer readers at different partner clinics throughout KC.  Our volunteer readers help create a literacy-rich environment by sharing books with children and modeling good reading behaviors for their families.

     

    Sally and family

    Sally began volunteering  15 years ago after retiring from her job as an English teacher. While looking for a volunteer opportunity, her friend suggested she get involved with RORKC.  Since then, she’s been sharing books with families at CMH Special Care Clinic a few times a week.

     

     

    On the importance of making reading fun:  During my visit to the clinic to meet Sally,  I was able to watch her in action.  This morning the clinic was busy and there were two boys sitting near the reading table.  When Sally approached them, they told her they didn’t like to read.  That is until Sally brought over 3 different books, one about the heroes of 9/11, one about different cars, and one about the ocean.  By the time they were called into their doctor, they were enthralled in their books. Sally works hard to make sure that every child finds a book that they can enjoy in the waiting room.  “Reading is important and should be fun, that’s why I tried to give each of the boys a few options,” Sally told me.

     

    Why she enjoys volunteering: “Being a retired English teacher, I think its important to share about early literacy and I also enjoy  meeting new families in the clinic and get to continue to build relationships with them as they come repeatedly over the years”

     

     

     

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    About 6 years ago, Carol, retired from teaching Kindergarten and was looking for a volunteer opportunity that involved children and literacy.  She came across an ad for a volunteer orientation at RORKC and signed up! Since then, she’s been a dedicated reader at a few of our clinics, setting up the reading table.  Carol also writes the Spanish translation in English books underneath the words because she sees a large number of families who need bilingual books where she volunteers.

     

    Favorite Book to Share: Green Eggs & Ham

     

    On the importance of reading: “As a kindergarten teacher for many years, I’m aware of how important early literacy and school readiness are. I believe that the involvement of community volunteers in clinic settings, where the authority of the physicians adds importance, is very effective.”

     

    Why she continues to volunteer with RORKC:  “Recently a newly-arrived immigrant family who spoke only Swahili came in so their youngest child could get a physical to enroll in school, the person accompanying them explained. Although the sweet little girl was very solemn and shy, she was attracted to the reading table and understood through gestures that she could choose a book and a toy to keep. It’s heartwarming moments like these that make me grateful for this opportunity!”

     

     

     

    Justin is a volunteer reader at Samuel Rodgers Health Clinic.  He first became involved with RORKC about 10 years ago when he was looking for a way to give back to his community.  He came across an ad for volunteer reading and the rest is history.

     

    Favorite book to share: The Foot Book (or anything by Dr. Seuss)

     

    On reading in the clinic: “Sometimes kids can be hesitant or nervous, but then I really try to engage them and interact with them and the story and then they really usually start to open up and really enjoy it”

     

    On why he enjoys volunteer reading: “I  want to set a good example for parents in the clinics.  Before they even see the doctor they can have a positive impact in the waiting room. It’s just a great way for them to experience fun reading.  That is my main goal is to interact with them and have them engaged in the stories. I want them to have a good experience and demonstrate that reading is fun. Plus I have a great time. Normally I don’t want to leave, especially if it’s a busy day!”

     

     

     

    Thank you to Sally, Carol, and Justin for volunteering their time to share books and their love of reading with children in KC!

    Interested in volunteering with Reach Out and Read Kansas City? From volunteer reading to serving on an event committee, we have plenty of opportunities for those trying to make a difference in the community.  For more information about volunteering, contact Jenny.

  • We Asked, You Answered; Your Dollars at Work

    Last December we sent up the bat signal asking for your help in our end-of-the-year appeal. Like the super heroes you are, you answered our call and we were overwhelmed by your response. We are so thankful for your dedication and continued support which allows us to ensure Kansas City children are prepared to enter school ready to succeed.Over the last several weeks, you have contributed nearly $5500! 

    This means 1100 new books and early literacy advice will be reaching the hands of local children. Wow!

     

    We would like to give special recognition to two outstanding contributors for their donation of $1000 each, which single-handedly will provide 400 children with new books and early literacy advice! Thank you Kris & Frank Cappo and Baby & Child Associates for your generosity. We are so grateful to everyone that has contributed, allowing us to impact the lives of community children.

     

    Super Hero Contributors:

    Bethene Gregg                                            Joy Winter                                            Sally Clark
    Brenda Pfannenstiel                                    Larry A. Rues                                       Stephanie & Richard Grinage
    Brian & Sarah Bracco                                  Lavonne Ridder                                    Sue Von Geyso
    Bryce Dickmeyer                                         Lisa Riojas                                            Susan Conner
    Carolyn & Ken Sabatini                               Lynn Hardy                                           Suzanne & Paul Koontz
    Cynthia & Michael Fry                                 Marny & John Sherman                        Sylvan & Merna Siegler
    Don & Luella Farmer                                   Mary Brink                                            Sylvia Coles
    Esther Sunderland                                      Maureen & Bill Berkley                         Tasanaporn Pitiyanuvath
    Jean Hiersteiner                                          Nancy Spangler                                    W. Mitchell & Dorothy Elliott
    Jill & Brannan Riffel                                     Pam & Greg Shaw
    Jo E Denton                                                Roger Lambson & Victoria Thomas