Attendees at the 10th Annual Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast are also authors!
Check out their rhymes in this online book:
Attendees at the 10th Annual Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast are also authors!
Attendees at the 10th Annual Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast are also authors!
Check out their rhymes in this online book:
The right book at the right time in a young child’s life is key for their development and keeping their interest. Little ones get bored with books that are “too young” for them and can get discouraged by books that are too advanced. At Reach Out and Read Kansas City, we make sure that every child receives a book that is the best fit for them developmentally at each one of their 14 regularly scheduled well-child checkups. We stock over 200 titles in order to offer many different choices for different age groups, and there are a number of factors to consider when we choose books for each group.
New babies, from birth to 4 months, are still working on developing their senses and motor skills, so they enjoy putting things in their mouth to experience them. Starting out, their eyesight is very undeveloped but grows stronger, as demonstrated on the infant vision simulator card presented here. While family members often hold babies closer than the distance designated on the simulator, this gives us some idea about how baby sees the world that they are newly experiencing.
At this age, black and white are easier for them to see clearly, so they find high-contrast board books or cloth books most stimulating (and harder to destroy). For these reasons, we offer book choices such as “Hello Baby” and “Black and White Nighty Night” to infants 2-4 months old. Little ones in this age group are also quickly improving their ability to recognize faces, and at 6 months, can already recognize faces better than they recognize objects. With that in mind, we offer plenty of book choices with lots of faces to look at.
|Our volunteer reader, Brenda, recently used the book “Baby Faces: Smile!” to engage a family with a 4-month old baby at our Cockerell & McIntosh site. She moved the book slowly from left to right and watched the baby track the pictures with his eyes, and then he broke into a smile (just like the baby in the book!)
Brenda also gave the family a little information about how reading to very young children helps their brains develop so they are better prepared to learn in school. The parents were very excited to see the baby interact with the book by tracking it and smiling! As they understood that their interactions really were beneficial to their little one, they continued to interact with their baby and book through their stay in the waiting room.
As children grow older, they start to recognize and name objects and are learning concepts like numbers and opposites. Between 1 and 2 years of age, children can choose books about counting or opposites, or they can choose a book that asks them what different objects are, such as “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” By age 3, kiddos are ready for books with a story, such as Mother Goose tales.
At 4 years, it’s time for a special well-child visit! By this age, children are getting ready to start school and Reach Out and Read is ready to help by giving them a kindergarten book bag including their “Countdown to the First Day of School” book, a kindergarten readiness checklist for parents, and some other preparatory materials.
Thanks to Janice Dobbs, our dedicated book coordinator of nearly 15 years, the Reach Out and Read KC team is experienced at and devoted to providing the most developmentally-appropriate book for every age. Equally as important, we also strive to provide the children we serve with books that are a good fit for them in other ways as well. Many families visiting our partner clinics do not speak English as their first language, so we offer bilingual books in 27 different languages (from Arabic to Vietnamese!) and our medical providers make sure to talk to each family about the importance of sharing books with their young children. By offering the best book choices to every child served by our clinics, we make sure the Reach Out and Read program has the greatest impact possible. Having access at home to the right book at the right time means a child is more likely to want to return to that book again and again, and will begin their lives learning a love of books and reading that will last through their school years and beyond.
Volunteers are vital to Reach Out and Read KC’s success. With an in-office staff of only four, it is no surprise that RORKC relies heavily on volunteer work and donations. Our volunteer force is over 100 people, and growing. Last year, these ROR superstars clocked 4347 hours of work. This is equivalent to $102,415.12 of volunteer labor (according to Independent Sector’s estimate of the value of volunteer time). This is a significant amount for which we could not be more grateful. Still, these numbers only reflect part of the effect our volunteers have on our program and on the community. The work they do is varied in valuable in ways that cannot be measured in dollars and cents. So let’s take a closer look at some of their work:
Our regular volunteers include clinic volunteers and office volunteers.
Volunteer readers assist clinics in creating a literacy-rich waiting room environment by sharing stories with children waiting for their doctor’s appointments. This models behaviors for families, like dialogic reading, and gives the kiddos something fun and positive to do while waiting (and it gives the parents/caretakers a short break!). This work isn’t just nice: It is one of many ways to encourage children to read, and this behavior is absolutely critical to their development.
Office volunteers do various tasks as-needed, including stuffing and stamping envelopes for mailings, putting stickers on books (to color-code them for specific age groups), and database entry.
One-time volunteers assist us with office tasks as well, often sorting or labeling books. Groups from various community organizations or corporations visit our office to help us get through the large number of books that come through our office on their way to one of our 52 clinics.
Event volunteers allow us to hold successful annual fundraisers and book drives. Last March, we had volunteers sort and haul over 24,000 books from our yearly Hooked on Books school book drive and competition. These books are used as waiting-room books in our clinics, and over half of the books were donated to other local agencies and schools. Volunteers also set up and cleaned up after our Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, and directed attendees to the event space.
Committee volunteers share their professional expertise and help us successfully run our program. This involves event planning, serving on our council, and much more.
Because of our volunteers, we are able to fill KC kids’ lives with stories and prepare them for success in school, and eventually in college and careers. These books give them the developmental boost that all babies need as well as fond memories of imaginative stories shared with loved ones. Because of our volunteers, we were able to reach 76,000 children all over the Kansas City area just last year. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for RORKC, contact Jenny.
This year’s Hooked On Books Challenge collected more than 24,000 gently used books to be redistributed to kids who need them throughout our community. 19 area schools participated in the annual book drive during January and February. All the books were sorted and distributed in March. Almost 10,000 books went to waiting rooms in Reach Out and Read’s 52 partner clinics. The rest were distributed to local agencies including W.E.B. Dubois Learning Center, The Urban Scholastic Center, The Upper Room, Literacy Kansas City, and several schools in KCK.
41 volunteers joined us over two Saturdays in March to sort 250+ boxes of books by age/reading level, repackage them, and load them onto pallets and trucks for distribution. A special thank you to the Junior League of Kansas City for their help with collection and sorting; to the Kansas City Star for printing and storage; and to Vanguard Packaging for providing boxes. Thanks also to Serve KC, Cerner, and our all of our wonderful community volunteers for donating your time and muscle!
It has been shown over and over that Reach Out and Read program has significant benefits for infants, but a pilot study in Maternal and Child Health Journal indicates that the program may also have notable benefits for adolescent mothers.
Adolescent mothers are more likely to experience maternal depression. This is likely a cause of the elevated language delay for their children, since depression can impair a mother’s ability to be a responsive caregiver. Fortunately, reading aloud together encourages mothers to enjoy time spent with children while doing something fun and interactive, resulting in healthier attachments and reduced depression.
The aforementioned study encouraged reading by implementing the Reach Out and Read model, and used questionnaires and the Beck Depression Inventory-Revised to measure results. The participating clinicians attended a 1-hour session informing them of counseling strategies that are attuned to the unique needs of adolescent mothers. The model was implemented using three components common to ROR clinics: 1. The clinician giving an age-appropriate book to the child during a check-up; 2. The clinician administering literacy advice; and 3. A language-rich clinic environment, including volunteer readers. The program is feasible and low cost because the books and resources were donated, and the clinic readers were volunteers.
Though it cost very little, the program was effective in reducing maternal depression and increasing time spend reading together. Researchers also observed high recruitment and retention rates, which was noteworthy considering the high frequency of missed appointments for adolescent mothers at the clinic.
The study did have a small sample size and only included one clinic, so the results could not reach a statistically significant conclusion. However, the observations made here show promise for further study and will hopefully lead to research on a larger scale. This information also provides a reminder that the Reach Out and Read program is simple, but its effects are varied, broad, and profound. Our program begins in the clinic, but it is hard to say when (or whether) it ends, for the benefits of hearing a story in the arms of a loved one are benefits that last a lifetime.
We all know how frustrating it is to talk to someone who is distracted by a mobile device, but did you know that it can also pose a potential developmental risk for infants? Reach Out and Read National Center recently posted an article by Dr. Robert Needlman, ROR co-founder, describing the parallels between screen-focused behavior and Ed Trunick’s “Still Face Paradigm.”
The Still Face Paradigm comes from a series of studies by Dr. Ed Trunick. In these studies, each mother would interact with her baby by cooing, gesturing, and touching, back and forth. Then, on a signal from the research team, the mother would become still faced, no longer interacting with her baby.
Dr. Needlman describes the baby’s reaction, “The baby’s response, at first, was to act even more adorable, as if trying harder to recapture the mother’s interest. Then, when the mother remained impassive, the baby would become angry, crying in rage. Then, when even that failed, the baby would slump back, defeated, looking depressed. Babies whose mothers actually did suffer from depression did less flirting and protesting. Instead, they skipped right to “defeated.” It was as if they knew – had learned – that mother wasn’t to be counted on as a partner. These babies protected themselves by investing less emotional energy in the exchange, building walls against closeness and disappointment.”
Dr. Needlman explains that this still-faced behavior is much like the behavior of a person who is preoccupied by a mobile device: They remain impassive, show little or no facial expression, and do not actively interact with those around them. This may be appropriate at times, and smartphones have many advantages that are hard to give up. However, screen focused behavior is something to be mindful of, especially around young children. Like second-hand smoke, second-hand screens may pose a risk to those other than the user.
Dr. Dana Suskind makes a similar point in her book “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain.” In this book, Dr. Suskind lists three guidelines for improving a child’s brain development:
1. Tune in to what the child is interested in and respond to that interest.
2. Talk more by engaging in frequent and high-quality speech with the child.
3. Take turns by letting the baby participate and responding, back and forth.
Sound familiar? These behaviors are much like what the “Still Faced Experiment” mothers did before they were instructed to make their faces blank. Of course, you can’t effectively “tune in” and “take turns” when engrossed in content on a screen, which is why Dr. Suskind adds a fourth guideline: Turn it off. As in, turn off distracting devices when spending time with your child. Besides we can think of a fun activity that doesn’t require any screens: Reading a book!
On February 25, the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi donated 1,901 books to RORKC as part of a 20,000 book grant from First Book. The Pi Phis have divided these books up and donated them to several local organizations. The organizations are listed in this video.
The donation to Reach Out and Read KC includes books for well-child visits, volunteer readers’ book bags, and clinic waiting rooms. Thank you Pi Phi alumnae for your donation and your continued support over the years.
We had a fantastic time at the 10th Annual Green Eggs & Ham breakfast. Over 300 people attended, and we raised $70,000 and counting. That’s 14,000 books that kids in the Kansas City area will receive at our clinics! If you missed the opportunity to contribute, it is not too late: Donate here.
We also heard a wonderful keynote speech from Dr. Dipesh Navsaria. Access the presentation slides here.
Thanks again to our top level sponsors: The Walsh Family and Kelly Family Foundations in honor of Betty Keith; Pamela Miller and Michael Cummings in honor of Mary Jo Williams; Hallmark Cards, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; and to all other sponsors, table hosts and supporters. Because of you, Green Eggs & Ham 2016 was a huge success and tons of fun.
Our winner for the 2016 Hooked on Books drive is Clear Creek Elementary School! They collected 6711 books,
for an average of 13.4 books per student.
Hooked on Books is our annual city-wide book drive and friendly competition between schools. It originated 17 years ago as a joint initiative of the Junior League of Kansas City and the KC Star. Reach Out and Read KC adopted the program in 2010, and it has continued to be a successful book collection program over the years.
The winning school is determined by the ratio of books collected per student, and the winning school receives bragging rights, a $500 gift certificate courtesy of RORKC and Scholastic Books, a celebration assembly, and a teacher gift basket courtesy of California Pizza Kitchen. All participants receive a bookmark and a coupon for a free kid’s pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.
This year, we had 19 schools and Rainy Day Books collect a grand total of 24,033 books that will be given to RORKC clinics as well as multiple local nonprofits and schools. With the help of the Junior League of Kansas City and the KC Star, we will be sorting and distributing these books to local agencies during the month of March.
Reach Out and Read KC is always trying to provide more books to more kids in the Kansas City Area. Because of your continued support, we have been able to give over 1700 more books to more kiddos at well-child visits in the first half of this fiscal year than we did in the first half of last year. This is such good news for us and for KC kids! Thank you for helping us make it happen.
Happy 112th Birthday Dr. Seuss!
To celebrate the life and literary accomplishments of Dr. Seuss, Reach Out and Read KC had a number of local celebrities read in our clinics.
Thank you to all our special readers, our amazing clinics, and to our volunteer readers who help us celebrate reading aloud every day!
You are invited to Reach Out and Read night at California Pizza Kitchen on Tuesday, March 1st from 4:30-9:30pm. Not only will there be many kinds of delicious pizza, but a percentage of the proceeds will benefit Reach Out and Read KC. Join us for dinner or order take out or catering for the evening while supporting RORKC. We hope to see you there!
Address: 11655 Ash Street, Leawood, Kansas 66211
We are delighted to have Dr. Dipesh Navsaria as our keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast on March 4th. Tickets to the event are available now.
Dr. Navsaria is the Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Wisconsin. He is a pediatrician with experience as a children’s librarian, a professor of pediatrics, and an advocate for children’s health. Dr. Navsaria also has more degrees than a thermometer and wears really excellent bow ties.
Last year, Dr. Navsaria and Dr. Amy Shriver co-authored a report titled “The Elephant in the Clinic,” describing the Reach Out and Read program’s various benefits. At this year’s Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast, Dr. Navsaria will speak about this report. It is sure to be fun and informative, so you won’t want to miss it! Reserve your seat now:
(Photo credits: Sarah Rose Smiley, www.schaharazad.carbonmade.com)
Hooked On Books collection day is Tuesday, February 23, from 9am-2pm. We are looking for volunteers with strong backs for lifting boxes of books and large vehicles for transporting them (up to 20 copypaper sized boxes at a time.) Volunteers will be assigned to pick up books at schools located throughout greater KC (from DeSoto to the West, Overland Park to the South, Raymore to the East, and Smithville to the North,) and deliver them to the KC Star loading dock in the Crossroads.
We also need help on Saturday, March 12 from 9am-3pm and Saturday, March 19 9am-noon at the KC Star when we label, sort, and pack up our “Hooked on Books” books.
February 14th is not just a day to give candy and flowers to your loved ones–it is also a day focused on encouraging people worldwide to give books to children. International Book Giving Day started as a joint effort between book-lovers in the US and UK in 2012, and it has spread worldwide since then. This year, all of us at Reach Out and Read KC want to make a special effort to celebrate this day, and need your help! Here are three ways you can enjoy International Book Giving Day:
Read a book with your loved ones. Set aside some time to relax and get comfy with a good book to share with your favorite kiddos. Let us know which book you shared by tweeting us @rorkc!
Donate to Reach Out and Read KC and we will do the work for you! We will use your donation to order and deliver age-appropriate books for children who visit our clinics for well-child check-ups. Click here to donate, and enter “International book giving day” in the special instructions section. $60 will provide a whole course of books for one child–that’s 15 books!
The benefits of reading to children are numerous, and we appreciate any and all the work you do to bring about these benefits. We hope you find some time to read and enjoy this year’s International Book Giving Day!
The 10th Annual Green Eggs and Ham breakfast to benefit Reach Out and Read KC is coming up on Friday, March 4 from 7:30-9am. This is our biggest event of the year! Tickets are on sale now for $60 each, and the last day to get your ticket is February 26.
With contributions from generous individuals and organizations, income from past years’ events have provided as much as ¼ of the organization’s annual income and allowed us annually to deliver over 76,000 new developmentally appropriate children’s books to nearly 30,000 children between the ages of 0 and 5 years old, along with prescriptive early learning advice to parents at 71,000+ well child visits in our 52 partner clinics located throughout greater Kansas City. In addition to supporting a fantastic cause, this breakfast is a lot of fun! Check out this year’s lineup:
|Keynote Speaker||Guest Reader||Guest Reader||Master of Ceremonies|
|Dipesh Navsaria||Bryan Busby||Neville Miller||John Holt|
Reach Out and Read Wisconsin
Honorary Hosts: David Oliver, Cemal Gungor, Richard Hu, and John Minnis
Complimentary parking is provided, and a map of the location can be found here. Registration and coffee begins at 7:00am. We look forward to seeing you there!
Hooked on Books is back for 2016!
Between January 11 and February 19, schools throughout the metropolitan area will collect new and gently used books for disadvantaged children ages newborn to 14. The books will then be redistributed to schools and other nonprofit organizations.
All students at participating schools receive a bookmark and coupon for a free kids pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, and the winning classroom is entered into a drawing to win a pizza party from CPK, along with bragging rights, and a $500 gift certificate from Scholastic Books! Winners will be announced at our annual Green Eggs and Ham breakfast on March 4.
There is still the chance to get involved! If you would like to volunteer as a school liaison, contact Jenny at Jhorsley@kumc.edu. For nonprofit organizations and schools serving at-risk children, apply to be a book recipient. For further information, visit our event page.
Join us in welcoming Eric Morey and Larissa Grantham,
the two newest members of the Reach Out and Read Community Council!
Eric is Director of Client Services at DST Systems, Inc. His experience prior to DST was in project management. He received his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis in December 2014. Eric shared the following about himself and why he feels so strongly about the Reach Out and Read program:
Books and reading have always been a large part of my daily life. I was encouraged to read as a child and this has stayed with me as an adult (I’ve been in a book club for many years). I believe humans share a special connection with a physical book which cannot be easily replaced with modern technology. Working with an organization which provides something so special during critical phases of development would be an honor.
Larissa is a Financial Planner at Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. Before joining the Council, she was a volunteer reader for one year and has served on the finance committee since 2014. Larissa shared the following about her passion for reading and interest in the Reach Out and Read program:
I know that being a good reader has made my life easier, both in school and on the job. It has also been a wonderful way to escape in times of stress. I have been blessed to share that joy with both of my two sons, Carter, age 6, and Grayson, age 2. When I found RORKC, I started as a volunteer reader in the clinic at KU Prairie Village, and I loved being able to share that joy with the children that I saw each visit. I look forward to helping the program thrive and help give the area’s children a much needed boost in the right direction towards success.
We are thrilled to report that the Every Student Succeeds Act has passed. This piece of legislation recognizes the importance of pediatric literacy organizations, such as Reach Out and Read. The Every Student Succeeds Act was to developed to ensure quality education for all children. This act received overwhelming bipartisan support, including votes from some Kansas and Missouri representatives.
The Every Student Succeeds Act can be read here. There are sections of this act that encourage funds for preschool and other early childhood education programs, support programs that involve parents and family members, and encourage children’s literacy and early childhood literacy preparation. This looks like a great step and we look forward to seeing how this law improves education and literacy preparation for children.
‘Tis the season for holiday parties! If you are hosting a party and would like to encourage the spirit of giving, consider having a holiday party book drive: Have your guests bring one or more kids’ books to donate to Reach Out and Read KC.
Thank you to our fantastic supporters who have already donated!
Join us at STUFF in Brookside for a holiday shopping party benefiting Reach Out and Read Kansas City. Our wonderful friends Casey & Sloane are breaking out the m&m’s and vino and staying open late so you can pick up the perfect holiday gift. Even better, they’re donating 15% of the evening’s proceeds to RORKC! STUFF specializes in artist originals, handmade gifts, fine art, artisan jewelry, small batch home and body products, indie cards, stationery & rugs. Grab a friend and stop by after work for some holiday cheer. You’re certain to find something special for your friends, loved ones, and even yourself. ‘Tis the Season of Giving at our favorite store, STUFF!
We invite you to support Reach Out and Read KC on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015!
We have a day for giving thanks, two days for getting deals, and now a day for giving back. Since its inaugural year in 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown to become a global day of giving observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are some ways you can help Reach Out and Read KC this year on Giving Tuesday:
Make a gift online and mention Giving Tuesday in the “Special Instructions” section.
Click here to donate to Reach Out and Read KC.
Volunteer. Get involved by applying to volunteer in our office or in our clinics throughout the year.
Click here to apply as a volunteer.
Host a book drive. Reach Out and Ready Kansas City is always seeking new and gently-used children’s books to distribute to children in need. What better way to collect these books than by hosting a book drive benefiting Reach Out and Read Kansas City?
Click here to learn more about hosting a book drive.
Post an #UNSELFIE on twitter or Instagram. Take a “selfie” with a captions (or have it on a card in the picture) explaining how or why you are giving to Reach Out and Read. Be sure to use the hashtags #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday and tag us @rorkc.
It was a busy and productive month for Reach Out and Read volunteers. In addition to our devoted crew of waiting room readers, we hosted teams from Farmer’s Insurance and Blue Valley North to our offices to sort and label thousands of books we received recently from Scholastic and First Book. The Farmer’s group was here as part of a service project and team building exercise during a 6 week training course. Students from Blue Valley North were part of a group organized by their teacher, Kaci Beichley, to help instill the lesson that it is important to give back to the community. Visit our website or contact Jenny to learn more about ways your group can have fun while helping make a difference at RORKC.
Reach Out and Read Kansas City was able to give children 2,037 books from Reading Is Fundamental thanks to a longstanding partnership with Macy’s. Funds were raised through the hard work of store associates promoting the joy of reading in the greater Kansas City area, and the generosity of Macy’s customers who responded by giving back in support of children’s literacy in their community during the 2015 Be Book Smart campaign.
“Thanks so much for this generous gift which will enable 2,037 children to receive new, developmentally appropriate books at their well-child visits. This donation is truly appreciated!” Janice Dobbs, Book Coordinator, Reach Out and Read Kansas City
The Be Book Smart campaign encouraged Macy’s customers coast-to-coast to give $3 to help provide books for children in their local communities. Through the program, customers received $10 off in-store purchases of $30 or more, plus 20% or 15% off storewide. Macy’s donated 100 percent of every $3 to RIF.
Once again the fine folks at Barnes and Noble, Oak Park Mall are hosting a holiday book drive for Reach Out and Read KC, going on now through the end of December. The brand new books for this drive were selected by our book coordinator, Janice, and are literally ‘just what the doctor ordered.’ They will be distributed to our clinics and given to children as part of their well-child checkup early next year.
Show your holiday spirit by visiting Barnes and Noble in Oak Park Mall and donate a book (or host a book drive of your own) so that every child in Kansas City can enjoy a book of their own this winter.
Planning on participating? Already donated a book and want to tell us about it? Visit our Facebook Event Page.
Results from our 2015 annual survey of parents have been tallied and we have good news to share! Of the 1090 families reporting between late August and late October, 99% of families said they received a book at their child’s well-child visit, 94% remember receiving literacy advice from their medical provider, and 83% of parents with children between 6 months and 5 years old say that they read to their children three or more times per week.
Statistics tell us how many books we provide to children, but this self-reporting from parents is true confirmation that we are fulfilling our mission of preparing Kansas City’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
You would not, could not want to miss, a Celebration such a this!
So mark your calendars for our 10th annual Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast, Friday, March 4, 2016, from 7:30 to 9:00am.
Join honorary hosts David Field Oliver, Cemal Umut Gungor, Richard Hu, and John P. Minnis as we return to the Crown Center Exhibit Hall for the tenth anniversary of our funtabulous signature event. Contact Mark for information about how you or your business can become a sponsor of this event. It is great exposure to an audience of 400 guests, and throughout our community. Email Jenny if you’d like to help with planning or setting/cleaning up on the day of the event, and stay tuned for more exciting details.
We are so grateful to First Book, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing equal access to literacy and educational opportunities for children in need, for supplying for free over 500,000 new children’s books to organizations in Kansas City this September. RORKC received 1780 new books for use in our well-child checkups and waiting rooms. Janice and Jenny, our tireless and talented book coordinator and volunteer manager, lined up with representatives of dozens of other local agencies to receive these fabulous free books for our kiddos. Thanks also to our wonderful friends at Turn the Page KC and LINC for organizing this event to benefit our community of young readers.
You did it! Because of amazing volunteers and supporters like you, a new fundraising record was set for our ‘Books On Tap’ special event (formerly known as Books and Brews.) Through generous sponsorships, donated event space from the Kansas City Public Library, and amazing food, drinks, and raffle items contributed by dozens of local businesses – not to mention ticket sales to over 200 attendees – you came together and raised over $7,600 to support Reach Out and Read KC. That means over 1500 new books can be purchased and delivered through this truly volunteer led event. We thank Tingle Flooring, Henderson Engineers, and TranSystems for sponsoring the event, but most of all we give high-fives, handshakes, and hugs to committee co-chairs Liz Megli and Kayla Boal and to the entire outstanding committee!
Support for Reach Out and Read from the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri dates all the way back to RORKC’s very beginning in 1997. Throughout the years and continuing today, the League provides both financial and volunteer support for our School Readiness, Kindergarten Book Bag, and Hooked On Books programs, as well as our Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast special event. THANK YOU!
On Saturday, Saturday, 26, the staff of Turner House Children’s Clinic, a RORKC program site, opened their doors for 12 new Junior League members to illustrate how the League has supported children’s literacy in our community. Dr. Pankey lead the group for a tour of their impressive facility, and RORKC volunteers, Laura Gregory and Lisa Nickel (both Junior League members) joined Mark Mattison, RORKC executive director, to share the history of the League’s legacy of giving and ways the women can become involved as volunteers for Reach Out and Read.
Students and teachers at Pathfinder Elementary in Platte County celebrated International Literacy Day on September 8 by dressing as their favorite book characters and started the day with a building-wide D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) time. Coinciding with the event, Student Ambassadors organized a service project and collected 344 new and gently used books for Reach Out and Read Kansas City. Thank you, students, and an extra special thanks to Jamie Davis, Reading Specialist at Pathfinder Elementary, for suggesting RORKC to benefit from your school’s book drive. Your generosity has helped stock our clinic waiting rooms and made some other children very happy.
In addition to providing books at our partner clinics, RORKC handed out over 13,000 new books to kids throughout the metro this summer as part of the Childrens’ Reading Foundation’s READ UP! program, funded though a U.S. Department of Education Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant. Books and brochures reminding students and parents to read together during summer break were delivered at Health Partnership Clinic, Growing Futures Early Education Center, Freedom School, and to the 1,200 children who attended Mayor James’ summer reading celebration at the Sprint Center.
Reach Out and Read national recently announced the launch of the Prescription for Success Toolkit, to support collaborations between libraries, museums, and ROR program sites – natural partners that have a collective impact on the lives of young children.
Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this pilot project aims to help families benefit from museum and library services that foster literacy development in young children. As a national nonprofit organization comprised of doctors, who promote early childhood literacy, Reach Out and Read has deep and broad relationships within the medical community. Prescription for Success has leveraged these connections to explore new ways doctors and their staffs can collaborate with museums and libraries.
Encouraging families to use libraries and museums extends the impact of the ROR program, giving them opportunities to share books and spend time enjoying library and museum activities. Likewise, library and museum staff reinforce our message that engaging with young children through reading and playing together helps foster healthy brain development. Read more
Tickets are on sale now for Books On Tap, Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s party with a purpose for young professionals supporting children’s literacy and kindergarten readiness.
For just $25 in advance ($35 at the door), your ticket includes:
* an assortment of appetizers,
* three drink coupons,
* one raffle ticket,
* off-street parking, and
* live music by Them Pick-less Fools.
By attending Books On Tap, you are providing enough funds to purchase 5 books for a child served by our program.
Special thanks to our event sponsors, Tingle Flooring and Henderson Engineers, Inc. Follow our event page on Facebook for updates on vendors, entertainment, and sponsors.
We are excited to announce the award of $25,000 from the Hall Family Foundation to fund for two years the purchase and distribution of a new book at the one month well child checkup.
Providers at our 51 partner clinics see up to 7000 children between birth and 4-months-old each year. Adding a new book at one month provides consistency in the prescriptive message and delivery of our program and extends the library of new books provided by RORKC to a total of 15.
The book selected to launch this program, Sleep Baby Safe and Snug, was created by Charlie’s Kids Foundation for Safe Sleep to reinforce the message of safe sleep habits to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is available in both Spanish and English.
Mark your calendars for our 4th annual friend-raising and networking
event for young professionals,
Formerly known as Books and Brews, this year’s event has a new name but will
take place in a familiar setting, the stunning rooftop event space of the
downtown branch of the Kansas City Public Library. Stay tuned for updates,
sponsorship opportunities, and ticket information coming soon.
Want to get involved? Drop us a line if you’d like to help with planning or
setting /cleaning up on the day of the event.
Summer is here, which brings lots of kids into our clinics – and they
all want to take home a book! We are in need of your gently used children’s
books, and there’s no better time to clean out the closets than during these
lazy days of summer. Are your kids looking for a project? Have them do a
neighborhood book drive for ROR-KC. This also makes a great activity for day
camps, vacation bible schools, and businesses looking for ways to help out the
community. Call Janice at 913-588-0295 for more information.
We are SUPER excited to be partnering with KCMO Mayor Sly James and Turn the Page KC to help present
“Every Hero Has A Story: A Summer Reading Celebration!” at the Sprint Center
This was no small task since the clinics are located across both sides of the
state line and in 7 counties throughout greater KC. Most were easy to find,
some were so far we needed to pack a lunch, and only one threw us for a loop
because the post office changed their address even though the office stayed
put. Though the undertaking was great, the information we gained from the
wonderful people and places we visited was even greater. We saw first hand what
each of our providers have been telling us all along – these folks are
BUSY, they work very hard, and the new and used books we give them are highly
valued by the providers and the families they serve.
Lucia is a nurse and Program Manager at the Community
Health Council of Wyandotte County. Before joining the Council, she shared the
following information about herself and why she feels so strongly about the
value and importance of Reach Out and Read:
(Growing up in Uruguay,)
I come from a family where books and reading are part of the norm. In my family
books are birthday and Christmas presents. They are reason for laughs and
arguments. I have many memories of my mother reading her books until late into
the night, and my grandma reading a passage out loud for us to enjoy. I read my
first novel when I was 11 years old, my mom gave it to me and it had been given to her by my grandpa. 12 years ago, I became a mother and faced the challenges of being a good and productive parent. Going to school, working, and taking
care of my kids was difficult, but I knew how important it was for my kids to
have a relationship with books and reading.
I believe we are the result of our environment, and for many the environment does not support the formation of reading habits that will have a lifelong impact. For me, reading is learning and loving. It is spending time with your child, it is imagining and dreaming. Reading means learning and improving, and our community needs all of that. I believe the Reach Out and Read KC program is very important because it brings families closer to books and (good) reading habits, and because it brings families together. I hope my experience, relationships, and understanding of the the KCK community will bring a positive impact to the council and program.“
What do these three organization have in common? The answer: PROVIDING NEW BOOKS FOR KIDS! Now through July 12th, Macy’s is hosting their annual “Be Book Smart” campaign. The program allows shoppers to spend $3 on a coupon worth $10 off their purchase of $30 or more and can be used immediately. Talk about a WIN-WIN! The $3 goes to Reading is Fundamental who then credits the full amount to Reach Out and Read for the purchase of new books for our early literacy program in KC. Last year alone we received and distributed more than 3000 books through this program, made successful by wonderful supporters like you.
We are looking for an AmeriCorps VISTA Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. VISTA members are full-time volunteers who give a year of service for poverty alleviation. In return, they receive a living allowance and healthcare benefits. Read more or apply.
As Father’s Day approaches, Mayor Sly James and our partners at LINC and Turn the Page KC have launched a campaign to encourage KC fathers to spend time reading to their children. Between now and June 21, share a photo of yourself or a dad you know reading to his kids on our Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #DadsTurnThePage and you could win Royals tickets! Watch this video for more details.
We would like to put a volunteer spotlight on one of our youngest volunteers, Anuva Kolli (pictured above). She may be little, but she is doing big things to help in her community. This 9-year-old 3rd grader at Horizon Elementary in Desoto, KS, has been honored with the bronze level Presidential Community Service Award for the past two years, completing a total of over 70 hours of volunteer work. Not too shabby for someone who won’t even be able to drive for seven more years.
Anuva and her family have volunteered for Reach Out and Read Kansas City for many years, and this award reflects her service for us and several other agencies. She makes toys for animals at Wayside Waifs, participates in Girl’s on the Run, organized a book drive and continuously labels books to send to Reach Out and Read partner clinics.
Anuva says, “ I want everyone to enjoy reading as much as I do. Every day I read about 5 hours”. Anuva enjoys mysteries and funny stories. Right now she is starting the Nancy Drew series.
Thanks to those who have already responded to our Spring fundraising appeal sent last week from our Medical Director, Sallie Page-Goertz (pictured below with a young patient and mom.)
In case you missed it, Sallie also shared a hot-off-the-press article from AAP News about a recent study where MRI scans show associations between reading to young children and brain activity. These results provide new evidence for something we’ve known all along – sharing books with infants and toddlers can promote brain development and support reading readiness. Read the full article here.
Save a stamp when responding to Sallie’s request. Contribute to Reach Out and Read KC online through our secure website.
Once again RIF has partnered with Macy’s to create Be Book Smart, a national partnership to raise awareness and support of children’s literacy. The effort helps RIF provide free books and literacy resources to children nationwide, and Reach Out and Read KC is fortunate to be the program’s local recipient.
Between June 21 –July 12, 2015, shoppers at any of the Greater Kansas City area Macy’s can give $3 to provide a book for a child in need and receive a coupon for $10 off a $30 in-store purchase at any Macy’s nationwide. The discount can be applied on purchases made that day or in the future. Macy’s will give 100% of every $3 to RIF. New this year, in addition to the $10 off $30 discount, Macy’s will also offer 20% off a future purchase.
This year’s campaign has a special focus on summer reading. Research shows that reading books during the summer is the most effective way for a child to maintain and even improve their literacy skills. Each coupon sold during the campaign provides a book for a child and just as important, the spark to keep them reading during the school year and all summer long.
We are very excited to introduce our new Manager of Volunteer and Constituent Relations, Jenny Horsley.
Jenny worked previously as Director of Volunteer Services at Operation Breakthrough where she handled a variety of volunteers and events, including working with the Reach Out and Read Program. Prior to that, she served as the Disabilities and Mental Health Coordinator at Head Start in Columbia, MO. Jenny holds a degree in Human Development as well as a Master in Business Administration, and is very involved in the nonprofit community. Over the past 10 years she has helped organize special events and raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation, and served in many positions on the Executive Board of the Greater KC Alumnae Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi, most recently serving as President of the organization.
Jenny proudly shares that she and her husband have two beautiful children, Tegan (age 4) and Connor (age 6), and because she loves reading and sharing books with her children, they love it, too. “My son is excelling in school and my daughter “reads” pictures every day,” she said. “I truly believe in the power of reading and want every child to have this great advantage in life.”
In addition to meeting and working with Reach Out and Read’s amazing volunteers and supporters this summer, Jenny is looking forward to playing volleyball, summer BBQ’s, and cheering on the Royals. Please join us in welcoming Jenny. We are so thrilled to have her on the team!
“Any child in this world cannot succeed without reading and I think parents have to understand that they’re the ones that are capable and have the ability to open the doors for their children.”
Meet the inspiring Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, one of two special guest readers for the 9th Annual Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast, in this video interview as she shares her beliefs on early literacy and the vital importance of reading. Buy tickets now!
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!
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.
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
The 9th Annual Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast benefiting Reach Out and Read Kansas City is quickly approaching, Friday, March 6th, 7:30-9:00am at the Sheraton Crown Center Exhibit Hall. In addition to being a lot of fun, this is a hugely important event for us. Last year, your support provided a fourth of our annual budget and helped us provide 76,495 new books and prescriptive early literacy advice to 29,836 at-risk children and families.
Tickets are on sale now and going fast – get yours today! Individual tickets starting at $60, must be purchased by Friday, February 27th. Register to sponsor a table or make a tax-deductible donation here.
|Keynote Speaker||Guest Reader||Guest Reader||Master of Ceremonies|
|David Warm||Bryan Busby||Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner||John Holt|
Mid-America Regional Council
|KMBC-TV||Deputy Executive Director,
Kansas City Public Library
Complimentary parking is provided. Registration and coffee service will begin at 7:00. As you arrive enjoy musical entertainment from students of St. Teresa’s Academy and Rockhurst High School. Rumor has it Cat and Fish from The Coterie’s upcoming production of “Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat” will also be making a special appearance.
For more information please contact Executive Director Mark Mattison at 913-588-3073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone knows the holidays are a time for thanks giving and for giving back. As I reflect on the past year, I am so very grateful to have been entrusted with this wonderful opportunity to spend every day giving back alongside the mighty staff of five, 46 clinic partners, and over 200 active volunteers of Reach Out and Read Kansas City. Also, I am thankful to you, for your past support and ongoing commitment to helping ensure every child in Kansas City will enter school ready to learn.
Since coming on board as Executive Director in September, I have been challenged, inspired, and ever-so-honored to play a part in the important work we do and the contributions we make to improve the lives of children. Not only do I hear it every day in testimonials from our volunteers and clinic staff, in a recent Parent Survey 98% of our families reported getting a book at their child’s well-child visit, 95% of families reported getting literacy advice, and, as a result, 82% of families reported reading to their children three or more times per week!
As you take a moment to give thanks this holiday season, I invite you to share your good fortune by also giving the gift of literacy – truly a gift that keeps on giving. A donation of just $60 to Reach Out and Read Kansas City provides a child with their own starter library, a new book received at each well-child visit from birth to 5 years old.
Your gift will spark the joy of learning in thousands of children throughout Greater Kansas City. Thanks to you and other advocates, in the next twelve months medical providers will meet with parents over 72,000 times to prescribe the importance of sharing books with their children. 30,000 children will take home a brand new age, language, and culturally appropriate book from their well-child pediatric appointment. And volunteers trained and provided by Reach Out and Read Kansas City will model book sharing skills as they read to children in clinic waiting rooms.
Research confirms that parents who receive literacy counseling from their health care providers, according to the Reach Out and Read model, are more likely to read to their young children, read more often, and have more children’s books in their homes. Over 70% of the children who visit Reach Out and Read Kansas City clinics come from low income families, and many of these families are struggling just to cover the basic necessities of food, rent, utilities, and transportation. They wish they could provide books for their children but their hard earned paycheck just doesn’t stretch that far. With your gift, Reach Out and Read Kansas City can help these children start the first day of kindergarten having experienced the joy of owning their own book, ready to read and learn.
Best wishes and Happy Holidays,
Imagine growing up and not having a book to call your own. That’s the reality for many children in the Kansas City area. Our local schools, however, are helping change that by joining our 2015 Hooked on Books School Challenge.
Between January 12th and February 27th, schools throughout the metropolitan area will collect new and gently used books for disadvantaged children ages newborn to 14. “Many children, as well as adults, take owning a book for granted,” says Nancy Fuller, Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s Hooked on Books Chair. “The drive is a fun, simple way for children to help children and to raise greater awareness about literacy in our community.”
It’s easy to get involved. Complete an online application to be a school participant in the challenge. Donate your time and register to be a Hooked on Books volunteer. For nonprofit organizations and schools serving at-risk children, apply to be a book recipient. For further information, visit our event page or contact Nancy Fuller, Hooked on Books Chair, at 913-940-8219.
The school that collects the most books per student within the designated time period will be recognized at our 9th Annual Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast on March 6th. In addition, the winning school will be awarded a $500 Scholastic Books gift certificate and an assembly celebrating their accomplishment. The biggest winners of all, however, are the disadvantaged children. Without your school’s participation, they may not realize the joy of having a book to call their own.
“I think both Hooked on Books and Reach Out and Read Kansas City are key players in improving literacy and access to books for some of the neediest children in Kansas City,” says Fuller. In fact, over the past 15 years, nearly 795,000 books have been collected through the school challenge and distributed to agencies and schools serving lower-income families.
Results from our annual survey to parents have been tallied and we have good news to report! Of the 1085 families reporting between late August and late October, 98% of families said they received a book at their child’s well-child visit, 95% remember receiving literacy advice from their medical provider, and 82% say that they read to their children three or more times per week! Purchasing, delivery, and inventory statistics tell us how many books we provide to children by way of our clinic partners, but this self-reporting from parents is true confirmation that we are fulfilling our mission of preparing Kansas City’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
We would like to take this opportunity to show our gratitude for the clinics that are excelling in our program. At the following sites 100% of families surveyed reported reading to their children three or more times a week:
|Brookside Family Medical Group||Leavenworth County Health Department|
|Platte County Health Department||Southwest Boulevard Family Care|
At the following sites, 100% of families reported receiving early literacy advice from their medical providers:
|Argentine Family Care||Brookside Family Medical Group||Grain Valley Family Medical Care|
|Heartland Primary Care||Hope Family Care||Jackson County Health Department|
|KU Silver City Clinic||Swope Independence||Leavenworth County Health Department|
|Platte County Health Department||Samuel Rodgers Health Center||Samuel Rodgers Northland Health Center|
|Swope West||TMC – Center for Family Health||Turner House Children’s Clinic|
We want to be sure all of our families receive literacy advice and a book. This survey shows that we are doing well—almost all of our families are getting advice and books and this is translating into a high percentage of families sharing books with their children three or more times per week. Thank you to all our supporters and especially to our providers for making early literacy a critical aspect of your pediatric practice!
We’re thrilled to share our 2013-2014 National Annual Report. 25 years ago doctors created Reach Out and Read in one exam room, in one hospital, and in one city. Today, it has grown to impact 4 million children with 5000 sites in all 50 states.
Here’s a short recap of our 2013-2014 year:
-Received David M. Rubenstein Award from Library of Congress in recognition of our groundbreaking work to advance early literacy
-Received a 1 million book donation from Scholastic
-Attended Clinton Global Initiative America meeting, made new commitments with Too Small to Fail, AAP, and Scholastic
We hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out and celebrate an amazing year (and 25-year journey in early literacy) with us. Thank you for your continual support and partnership!
Our national chapter of Reach Out and Read was featured on The Today Show! It was an incredible piece about Dr. Carolyn Boone, one of Reach Out and Read’s pediatricians that serves in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Boone and her story were featured as part of Today’s “Hope To It” series, which highlights people who have overcome adversity and are now giving back in their lives.
Dr. Carolyn Boone is more than just a pediatrician of 30+ years. She is also a mentor, a teacher, and a part of the families of the patients she serves. As part of her involvement in the Reach Out and Read program, she starts each appointment with a book, understanding the vital importance of reading. Dr. Boone was a child of teenage pregnancy, raised by a foster mother on a small farm without much, but she did have books — and the message to pass along her love of reading to others throughout her life.
She became a doctor, dedicating her life to low-income families and adopting an holistic approach to medicine. “Books are just as important as an immunization,” says Dr. Boone, noting that books make sure the brain develops properly and are a way for parents to interact and talk with their children. Every day she promotes literacy and offers hope to the families she serves. The piece truly captures the power of Reach Out and Read, and how together through reading, we are changing lives, families, and futures.
If the video does not work, watch the piece here.