Tag Archives: reach out and read

Help Restock our Shelves

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.

 

Interview

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary: An Interview with Erika

One of the best parts of working in the RORKC office is hearing feedback and success stories from all of our partner clinics.  A few years ago, Reach Out and Read Kansas City board member and pediatrician at Children’s Mercy West, Dr. Lisa Riojas shared this experience she had during a well-child visit:

 

“One of my most special Reach Out and Read memories is of a 6-month-old who came in with his family.  He was sitting on his mother’s lap. They were Spanish speaking so we had an interpreter but that’s the great thing about books, you can see what kids are thinking/feeling when they are looking at books.  So, I hand him the book.  Usually, babies at that age start to chew on the book while holding it upside down and backward, but this little guy took it from me with both hands, held it in the correct position, and opened it all by himself. He then started to flip the pages and you could see eyes scanning the pages as if he’s reading this little book.

 

The mom then looked at me and at him, when she starts to show him the book, he just lights up and gets all excited, and you can tell that he is super happy.  It was very obvious that he had been read to over and over again by his family”

 

rene newsletterRene is now a healthy 2-year- old that still loves to read.  Recently, we met with his mother, Erika, to talk about why she loves reading with Rene and her  6-year-old daughter, Alondra.

 

How often do you read aloud?

“We read together every day because both of my children enjoy it.  They like hearing the stories, they get emotional when they see the images and like to express themselves and react to the stories.”

 

Why does Rene like going to the doctor?

“When he gets the books in the doctor’s office, he is excited because it is a new book for us to read together. You can see it on his face, he has a huge smile”

 

What are some of Rene’s & Alondra’s favorite books?

“Rene loves to read books about animals.  His favorite currently is one about a horse that saves his brothers and sisters. We read it daily.  His sister,  Alondra, loves reading Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Snow White.  She is now learning to read and write, so I still read aloud to her every day too.”

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Welcome new Community Council member, Paula!

paulaReach Out and Read Kansas City is pleased to welcome another new Community Council member, Paula Matthews!

 

Paula is the Director of Talent Management and Development at Hallmark. She holds her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources, making her a great addition to our council.  In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and volunteering with her children’s school district and other organizations. She says this about the RORKC’s mission:

 

 

I became interested in Reach out and Read because of my kids, Caroline, age 11 and Will, 9.   Both are avid readers and reading together from their infancy has been one of the most amazing things we’ve done as a family and one of the things I treasure most as their mom.   I believe early literacy is critical to a child’s development.

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Summer Reading Programs in KC!

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Days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer, which means one thing: it’s almost summer vacation! While students are rejoicing, it can be a difficult time for parents as they try to prevent the “summer slide”.  This refers to the possible learning setbacks that come as a result of time away from the classroom. Luckily, KC has numerous libraries and educational camps that combat the “summer slide”! We’ve put together a list for you of library programs, summer camps, and events to keep your kids reading this summer!

 

Library Programs:

 

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

May 15th – July 31st

Kick-Off Parties: happening at all locations – check out when your branch is having theirs!

Highlights:

-Family Story Time

-Family Movie Nights

-Practice your reading skills with Reading Education Assistance Dogs

-Bilingual Craft Times

View more information.

 

Kansas City, Missouri Public Library

Kick-Off Party- May 26th at the Plaza branch with special guest, Jim Cosgrove

Highlights:

-Yoga Storytime

-Rockin’ Rob

-Exotic Animals R Us  Visit

View more information

 

Mid-Continent Library

May 22nd-July 31st

Highlights:

-A Story Time with Royals Mascot, Slugger!

-Story Times for families, babies and toddlers, and Pre-Schoolers.

-A visit from the SEA LIFE Mobile Touch Tank

-Practice your reading skills with Reading Education Assistance Dogs.

Need more information? View the Mid-Continent Library Website.

 

Johnson County Public Library:

 May 15th –July 31st

Highlights:

-Summer Storytimes

-Practice your reading skills with Reading Education Assistance Dogs

-Dinosaur O’Dell’s Build a Better World

-Family English-Spanish Storytime

-Marty the Magician’s Magic Workshop

View more information.

 

Olathe Public Library

May 22nd-July 31st

Kick-Off Party: Tuesday, May 30th, at 10:00 a.m. at Frontier Park in Olathe

Highlights:

-Story Time in the Park

-Family Chess Nights

-Practice your reading skills with Reading Education Assistance Dogs

-Family Movie Nights

-Find Fido Fridays

View more information.

 

North Kansas City Public library

May 27th – August 5th

Kickoff Party: May 27th

Highlights:

-Storytimes are offered 3 times a week (Monday @ 11:00 a.m., Tuesday @ 7:00 p.m., Wednesday @ 11:00 a.m.)

-Family Programs are every other Saturday at 11:00 a.m

-Mad Science will present their Build a Better World program.

-Bricks4Kids, a hands-on LEGO program

-Animal Tales

View more information.

 

Summer Camps:

 

BOOKISH From ABC Preschool

June 27-29
Through the minds and hearts of children, books will be a part of their lives forever. Bookish will open the cover of your child’s imagination by guiding their curiosity with a visit from a real book author, taking a field trip to a real library, writing & illustrating our own books, and delight bringing childhood classics to life with dramatic play.

View more information.

 

Upper Room:

June 5th – July 28th

Summer Camp Daily Schedule:

8 am – 3:30 pm: Academic instruction time. This includes English Language Arts (ELA) in the morning. Lunch is provided, and the afternoon consists of math and other academic enrichment activities. ELA & Math will be our primary focus during these hours.

3:30 – 6pm: Various recreation & enrichment activities are offered during this time until parents pick up their child. An afternoon snack is also provided.

View more Information.

 

Other Great Events:

 

Turn the Page Summer Reading Event

June 20th

Sprint Center

Join Turn the Page for a FREE summer reading celebration at Sprint Center! Mayor James and Turn the Page KC volunteers will lead an afternoon full of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts, and math – activities. Every child will take home a bag of FREE books and resources

View the Facebook Event.

 

Sylvester Powell Community Center

Ages 0-6 yrs.

5/1-8/28

M: 10:00-10:30am

Story Time with Miss Diann.  Turn your preschooler into an avid reader before they even start school! Reading aloud to young children encourages learning development and helps prepare them for independent reading down the line. Miss Diann will read a story and help children participate in a fun art activity. Parents participation encouraged during art lesson and required for supervision during story time. $1/child, no class 5/29, 7/3

View more information

 

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program:

1.Read any eight books this summer and record them in this
Summer Reading Journal. Tell us which part of the book is your
favorite, and why.
2.Bring your completed journal to a Barnes & Noble store between
May 16th and September 5th, 2017.
3.Choose your FREE reading adventure from the book list featured
on the back of the journal
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Promoting Print Awareness

Print AwarenessReading books together helps babies create a foundation for lifelong learning by building skills that fluent readers take for granted. Babies have to learn that there are patterns in the sounds they hear, and that these sounds make words. They have to learn that the squiggly lines in books are letters and those letters make words. They also have to learn that there is a connection between those letters they see and the sounds they hear. That’s a lot of work for a baby! However, this connection, called print awareness, is one of the most basic pre-literacy skills and is absolutely necessary before a child can learn to read.

 

All About Learning Press describes print awareness as “the understanding that words on a page have meaning and that they are related to spoken language,” further explaining that “As children develop print awareness, however, they begin to realize that those characters on the page are words, and that words are read in lines from left to right and lines are read from top to bottom. They learn that there are spaces between words and punctuation at the end of sentences.” Once children learn what text looks like, they are better able to recognize it in different contexts. They will be able to recognize that there are words all around them, not just on the pages of a book, but also on signs, billboards, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, and more!

 

Reading aloud together is a great way for parents to get started on promoting print awareness with their child. Reach Out and Read provides books starting at birth to encourage families to read and build these vital pre-literacy skills. Still, there are many fun and effective ways to make emphasize text while reading aloud and while doing everyday activities. Here are a few ways to promote print awareness:

 

1. Start at the beginning. Reading Rockets suggests that you begin reading aloud by looking at the front cover and reading the names of the author and illustrator. You can also talk about the front and back of the book, and about reading from left to right.
Hold up the book and say, “This is the front of the book, (turn it sideways and state) and this is the spine.” Turn the book to the back cover and state, “This is the back of the book.” Then ask, “Do we begin reading from the front or the back of the book?” (Students should respond, “From the front.”).

 

2. Point to the text as you are reading. This will help distinguish that you are reading the words rather than just interpreting the pictures.

 

3. Talk about words you see during daily activities. Words are everywhere, and so are learning opportunities! This video has some great examples of finding words in daily activities. Mira’s mother doesn’t just point to the sign and read “melons” she also makes the connection between two M words: M for Mira and M for melon!

 

 

Read aloud every day starting at birth builds babies’ brains so that when they start kindergarten, they are ready to learn and can become strong readers. Reach Out and Read Kansas City incorporates books into pediatric care for babies ages 0-5, encouraging families to read together. This allows children gain pre-literacy skills like print awareness. To learn more about our program, visit our website. To help further our mission, consider donating to our cause.

 

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We Did It! Macy’s Thanks for Sharing Campaign reaches goal

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A big thanks to all you Macy’s Cardholders who joined Macy’s Thanks For Sharing. As the result of a partnership between Macy’s and Reading is Fundamental (RIF), the Thanks for Sharing campaign raised $15 million for charities like us! This means more books for kids in our clinics. We are so grateful to Macy’s, RIF, and all who supported us in this campaign.

 

Thanks for Sharing will continue until December 31, so there is still time to enjoy the savings! Visit any Macy’s store to learn more.

 

 

 

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Land’s End Sales Benefiting ROR

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Now through November 30th, help us give the power of reading to children who need it the most!

Land’s End has partnered with Reach out & Read National to help connect parents and children to the joy of reading books together.  20% of all net proceeds on full-priced orders will go to Reach Out & Read when you enter promo Code: REACHOUT and Pin: 8547 at checkout.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Reach Out and Read!

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A Record-Breaking Year for RORKC

YIRsquareOur 2016 Year in Review report is here, and we are helping more families than ever. Between July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, RORKC distributed 83,672 books. That’s over 6,000 more than the last fiscal year! To see more of what we have accomplished recently, and to hear from some of our volunteers and medical providers view the full report.

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A Klass Act

ROR National Medical Director Presents in KC at Regional Pediatrics Conference

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The Reach Out and Read program and message of “Books Build Better Brains” took center stage on September 22, as Dr. Perri Klass, National Medical Director of ROR presented both the morning’s keynote speech and a subsequent working session to an audience of 200 pediatric care providers. Klass was the featured speaker at the 49th Annual Clinical Advances in Pediatrics Symposium, presented by Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics at Children’s Mercy Park. She explained and provided evidence supporting the many benefits young children garner by being read aloud to. Additionally, she urged attendees to take advantage of the special relationship between families and pediatric providers to support parenting practices that promote early brain development through literacy-related practices. Dr. Klass suggested the message to parents should include, “your baby will love books, because your baby loves you,” and therefore will love and look forward to time spent together sharing books.

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The Benefits of Bilingual Books

The Reach Out and Read program has a huge impact on every family we serve because we are able to provide books that meet the specific needs of different families. Our clinics encounter patients who are culturally diverse and often unable to read or speak English.

 

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For these families, we offer bilingual and foreign language books in 27 different languages from Arabic to Vietnamese at well-child visits for ages 0-5 years old. Children in these families will usually go on to attend an English-speaking school, making bilingual books especially valuable in helping them get ready for kindergarten.

Bilingual books have a number of unique benefits: They prevent language delay that some English language learners may experience, and they build vocabulary in the reader’s home language. However, the benefits of bilingual books go far beyond the measurable language effects. Here are some of the benefits of the foreign language and bilingual books that RORKC offers:

 

1. Bilingual books encourage parents to read in their home language. Parents who do not speak any or very much English may not be comfortable reading English-only books to their children. Being read and talked to (in any language) is important for building those pre-literacy skills so babies can be ready to learn once they start school. Strong pre-literacy skills in the child’s home language prepare their brains to learn reading or writing and improve their capacity to learn both languages. For very young children, learning a language is not the only goal: Building strong neural connections is also important.

 

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Somali is one of our 27 languages for bilingual book options.

2. Bilingual books build vocabulary in both languages. Bilingual children may have smaller vocabularies in each language than their peers (though their combined vocabulary is often the same or greater). This can become a problem once they begin school, especially since “playground language” does not expose children to concepts that they need to know for school in their second language. Bilingual books familiarize children with “academic language” in both language, preparing them to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

 

 

3. Bilingual books help children feel included. It is important for children to find themselves represented in stories and illustrations. If their family speaks a language that is not common where they live, they may begin to feel alienated. For languages like Burmese and Urdu, it can be hard to find any resources for children at all. Bilingual books and foreign language books can provide children with much-needed representations of their home language, or even their race and culture.

 

4. Bilingual books highlight other cultures. Bilingual books are also a wonderful way to help young children learn about and become more accepting of other cultures and people. Learning about other people can boost children’s social and emotional development.

 

5. Bilingual books are fun. We know reading is a lot fun. Languages can be fun too!

 

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RORKC Welcomes New VISTA Volunteer, Sydney

 

Sydney4We are thrilled to welcome our new Communications Specialist, Sydney Milner. Sydney joins our team as a full-time volunteer through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

 

Sydney is from St. Louis, and she holds  Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Arkansas. She describes herself as an avid reader, and last year she spent 6 months living and volunteering at high-poverty schools in South Africa where she realized how many opportunities can open for young children just by improving their literacy skills. She says “I am excited to join Reach Out and Read Kansas City and help promote their mission of encouraging family reading throughout my year of service.”

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RORKC’s Back-to-School Re-stock Our Bookshelves Campaign

Reach Out and Read Kansas City's Back-to-School Restock Our Bookshelves Campaign

Reach Out and Read Kansas City needs your help restocking our bookshelves for the new school year. Last year, we provided books and literacy advice to children from birth to 5 years old at 77,792 well-child checkups. That’s 6,584 more checkups than the previous year!

Summer is always an especially busy time in our clinics as families get ready for the coming school year. Since we are serving more children than ever, our need for books has increased and our inventory is being depleted. Help us restock our shelves so that we can continue to provide brand-new, developmentally appropriate books for the nearly 30,000 children who we serve each year.

For just $10, you can provide books and literacy counseling at 2 well-child checkups. Help us reach our goal of $10,000 by September 15. That is 2,000 brand-new books and literacy counseling for children in the Kansas City area.

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Books on TAP 2016 Tickets Available

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Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s Fall Fundraiser: Books on TAP

 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
5pm – 8pm

1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Mission Woods, Kansas 66205
Google Map


Tickets $25 advance, $35 at the door

RORKC invites young professionals to attend its 5th annual Books on TAP fall fundraiser on October 19, at the 1900 Building, located at the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and State Line Road . Come together with friends -old and new- to celebrate RORKC’s mission of preparing our community’s youngest children for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Drinks, light fare and entertainment will be provided.

Purchase Tickets

Your ticket includes:
Appetizers and desserts
3 Drink coupons
1 Raffle ticket
Live entertainment

Every year, Reach Out and Read Kansas City provides more than 83,000 new, culturally, and developmentally appropriate books and literacy advice to nearly 30,000 low-income children, birth to age 5, and their families during well-child visits at 51 partner clinics located throughout the metro. Through Reach Out and Read, each child can build a 15-book library before they enter kindergarten. For many families, these are the only books in their home. By attending Books On Tap, you are providing enough support to purchase 5 books – a full third of their 15-book library!

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Welcome Lisa, Monica, Cathy, and Gharib

Reach Out and Read Kansas City is thrilled to have four new members on the Community Council!

Join us in welcoming Lisa Riojas, Monica Tiffany, and Cathy McCaddon.

 

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Lisa Riojas, M.D. is a pediatrician and the Medical Director at RORKC’s partner clinic, Children’s Mercy Hospital West. Lisa has nearly 25 years of experience in pediatrics, serving an urban, racially diverse population. She is also a longtime advocate and practitioner of the Reach Out and Read program. Lisa shares the following about why she believes so strongly in RORKC:

 

I have watched countless children move through the Reach Out and Read program.  The families that read consistently with their children see improved speech skills as well as school performance but there is also a stronger parent-child bond.  While the improved literacy is critical for their school success, I also feel that the strong parent child bond is also a key component to that child’s ultimate success. 

 

 

 

 

monicatiffanyMonica Tiffany is the Creative Director at Merrigan & Co, specializing in developing effective communications strategy for organizations. Monica has a plenty of experience working with nonprofits, as she has written for Shriners Hospitals for Children, National Geographic, the American Red Cross, and many others. She has also been an active member of RORKC’s event planning committee. Monica shares the following about the importance of being read to:

It’s some of the most fundamental and important work we can do for kids and our culture. Also, it’s work that is close to my heart. I was lucky to have a mother who read to me—and who had her friends, sisters and parents (my grandparents) read to me. I participated in every summer reading program we knew about and it’s not stretching the truth to say reading, and what it did to my mind and my self-confidence, made me who I am today.

 

 

CMcCaddonCathy McCaddon is the Senior Vice President of Keybank Real Estate Capital and has 20 years of experience in real estate finance. Cathy will enter retirement soon, and she looks forward to spending more time volunteering, specifically with early childhood development. She has a great volunteer background, including her participation in The Greater Kansas City Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club: She was named Pi Phi of the year in 2015. Cathy shares the following about why she looks forward to supporting RORKC:

 

 I would like to give something back to our community and I believe that our future lies in the education of our youth.

 

 

 

 

Gharibi

Gharib Gharibi is a Ph.D. student and instructor in Computer Science at UMKC, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He has been an active volunteer for multiple organizations, including Harvesters, Operation Breakthrough, and Reach Out and Read KC. Gharib shares the following about his dedication to education:

I was raised in a culture that praises helping, giving to others, and sharing. Specifically, we believe in giving , unconditionally, to those who are in need. The most noble form of giving is teaching, because education is the ultimate way to improve ourselves, our nation, and the human  race.

 

 

 

 

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Dine at 39 Rainbow Restaurants to Benefit RORKC

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Dine at select 39th and Rainbow Blvd restaurants during the month of July and RORKC will receive a portion of the proceeds. Eateries include Five Guys Burgers and Fries, topp’d pizza and salads, IHOP, Subway, and Pita Pit (to open in late July).

Google Map for 39 Rainbow

Also, bring your new or gently used book donations to the 39th and Rainbow Holiday Inn Express lobby for our month-long book drive!

See the Facebook event

Thank you to LANE4 property group and Page Communications, as well as our neighbors at 39Rainbow for making this happen!

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Summer Reading Sure is Fun!

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Image courtesy of Reach Out and Read National Center

 

Summer has officially begun, and that means we get to experience the many joys of the season: Warm weather, ice cream, and many reading opportunities for the whole family. For young children (0-5years), summer can mean fun activities that make sticking to reading routines difficult. For school-aged children, summer break can result in summer slide—learning setbacks that result from time away from the classroom. Encouraging children to read through the summer can put them at an advantage for the rest of the year, and there are many ways to overcome the challenges of summer reading. Here are some tips for for keeping your little ones reading through the summer:

 

1. Let your child choose what to read. From our friends at First Book: “Kids will always be more excited about reading, if they can choose what to read,” says Stephanie Phelix, Library Media Specialist at Belle Forest Community School in Memphis, TN.
If you are having trouble coming up with summer reading ideas, check out these picture books about summer.

 

2. Sign up for a summer reading program. Many local libraries provide incentives for children who meet reading goals, and programs are available for very young ages. Some KC area libraries with summer reading programs are:

Mid-Continent Public Library
Kansas City Public Library
Johnson County Public Library

If you can’t make it out to the library, Scholastic offers an online summer reading program as well.

 

3. Incorporate reading into other fun summer activities. You know that hour between eating and jumping in the pool? Perfect time to read! RIF suggests some other ways to have fun reading, such as having a “book-nic” or a combined picnic and story time.

 

KC area libraries are a great resource for free or inexpensive summer reading resources, events, and story times. However, home libraries are also important for developing young readers’ literacy skills. To help us provide books to KC’s youngest children through the summer and all year, consider donating to RORKC.

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Enjoy your summer reading!

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ROR Leaders Come Together at National Conference

RORKC’s Executive Director, Mark Mattison, and Medical Director, Sallie Page-Goertz, attended the ROR National Conference in Boston, May 11-13. Of greatest benefit to them was getting together with leadership of other Reach Out and Read programs to share ideas and best practices, as well as a wonderful opportunity to put faces to names and voices of folks we work with regularly around the country.

 

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On multiple occasions throughout the conference RORKC was acknowledged as an exemplary program. Most significantly, a video of our founder, Dr. Jean Harty, was used to introduce the session on implementing the 0-6mos program nationwide, acknowledging her insistence that it always be a part of KC program. Other takeaways of note were a commitment from National to begin providing content for grant applications connecting outside research in early brain development to the ROR program, and Sallie connecting with other nurse practitioners and making plans to present together on the ROR program at the National NP Conference this summer. The conference was sponsored through a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and other corporate sponsors.

 

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Chatter Matters: Why it is Important for Parents to Talk to Children

The following message is a guest blog from Sallie Page-Goertz MN, APRN. Sallie is the Medical Director of Reach Out and Read KC, and she recently gave a two-part presentation called “Parent Talk” about why it is important to engage in frequent, high-quality talk with young children. Her presentations were so informative and well-received that we would like to share that same message with you!

 

Babies love to hear your voices.  While in the womb, they heard your voices, as well as those who were around you!  A fascinating study had women read to their babies before the birth.  After the birth, babies listened to recordings of their mother and recordings of a stranger reading the same story – they were much more interested in listening to the story recorded by their mothers, a familiar sound!

 

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Photos courtesy of Reach Out and Read National Center.

For children to learn to talk, they have to hear lots and lots of talking.  The first 3 years of life are the MOST sensitive for development of later language skills.  If babies do not hear lots of conversation, they lose an opportunity for developing strong connections in the brain that help them to communicate.    When you talk to your baby, connections between neurons are formed that will help them learn to speak.   Research tells us that the more words children hear between birth and three, the more words they know at 18 months of age and at 3 years of age. Sharing a book with your child is one way to get these conversations going!

 

 

The way we talk to young children influences how they think about themselves, how they learn to regulate their behavior, and their willingness to try hard, and keep trying when learning new skills.  For example, in the grocery store – one could tell that running child to “Stop, behave, you know you’re not supposed to run” or, one could say – “hey stop running and come help Mommy find the red apples that you like so much – let’s see if you can put four of them in the bag!   Thank you for being a good helper”.  In the first example, the child is chastised for unacceptable behavior, but doesn’t learn what might be acceptable.  In the second example the child is told what they are not to do, but also told what they can do, and further are given an opportunity to learn about color, and counting and helping.

 

Another example – the preschooler is working on putting a puzzle together – it’s hard for her to find the right spot for some of the pieces.  In one scenario, her caregiver shows her exactly where it goes, she puts it here and is told “great job”. The child is pleased to have the help, and continues to look for that help.  An alternative scenario, is that the caregiver suggests puzzle skills – look at the pieces with smooth edges, and see which ones will go together, or think about matching colors on the different pieces.  The caregiver encourages the child to keep trying different pieces until she finds the right ones.  Praise is given for trying again and again, rather than for being successful!   In the second scenario, the child has learned a lot more – about puzzle making, but more importantly about not giving up when things seem too hard.

 

Dana Suskind’s book, Thirty Million Words:  Building a Child’s Brain, has lots of great ideas 30-million-cover-hi-rezto think about when being in conversation with your children.  She presents the research that explains importance of being in conversation with children in an easy to read and understand way, and reminds us of the impact that our conversations can have on children, both negative and positive.

 

Bottom line, words matter, and the more words a child hears, the more prepared they are to communicate and to learn as toddlers, kindergarteners and adults!

 

So, go talk to your baby – watch how she reacts to your voice, to your singing.  Even though she won’t talk back with words for many months, she talks back with her eyes and her expressions to let you know that she is definitely listening and learning.

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Choosing the Best Book for KC Kids

Infant Vision Simulator Card

 

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.

 

5899 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.

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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.

 

 

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The Value of Our Volunteers

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:

 

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Volunteer reader Anne reads a Dr. Seuss book in an ROR clinic waiting room.

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 volunteer Allie labels books for well-child visits.

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.

 

Community volunteers label and sort Hooked on Books donations.

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.

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Hooked on Books Donations Benefit Local Agencies

HOB Sorting 40  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!

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Reach Out and Read Benefits Adolescent Mothers

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.

 

mae-bebe 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.

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The Consequences of “Second-Hand Screens”

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.”

 

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Click to watch a video of the Still Face Experiment

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.

 

 

30-million-cover-hi-rezDr. 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!

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10th Annual Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast: A HUGE Success!

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(Pictured: Brian Gallagher, Director ROR National; Martha Gershun, ROR Supporter; Mark Mattison, Director RORKC; Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Medical Director ROR Wisconsin)

 

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.

View photo booth pictures

View event pictures

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Our Impact Continues to Grow

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(Photo credit: Doug Bruns/Images for Change)

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reach Out and Read Night at California Pizza Kitchen

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
Map

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Meet Dr. Dipesh Navsaria

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.

 

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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:

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(Photo credits: Sarah Rose Smiley, www.schaharazad.carbonmade.com)

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International Book Giving Day

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:

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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!

 

 

Print free bookmarks and bookplates from the International Book Giving Day website.

 

 

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!

 

 

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10th Annual Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast Speakers Announced!

ds2The 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. purchase

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
Medical Director,
Reach Out and Read Wisconsin
KMBC-TV KMBC-TV FOX-4 TV

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!

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Hooked on Books 2016 is Underway!

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.

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Every Student Succeeds Act Supports Reach Out and Read Model

esea_billWe 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.

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Salvy the Gold Glove Catcher

salvyOne of our awesome supporters wrote this song for his brother’s school choir and it has become a bit of a hit, so he added a charity on with the song to get our name out there.  Lucky us!

Take a listen and enjoy.

 

Read the Article 

$2 to download

Listen on YouTube

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Holiday Party Book Drives

party‘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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Parents Report Success

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.
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Green Eggs & Ham – SAVE THE DATE

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.

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First Book Pick Up by Jenny 9-2015 (compressed)

Free Books from First Books

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.

First Book Pick Up by Jenny 9-2015 (compressed)

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‘Books On Tap’ Record Breaking Success

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!

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Turner House Tour 2015

Turner House Clinic Opens Doors to Junior League Volunteers

Turner House Tour 2015

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.

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Library and Museum Partnership

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

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Books On Tap – Sept 23rd 2015

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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.

Buy Your Ticket Today

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Hall Family Foundation grant funds new book at 1 month checkup

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.

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Save the Date

SAVE THE DATE for Books on Tap-Sept. 23, 2015

Mark your calendars for our 4th annual friend-raising and networking
event for young professionals,

 Save the Date

Books on Tap, Wednesday, September 23, 2015,
from 5:00 to 8:00pm.

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.

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Summer Reading Celebration July 15, 2015

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

July 15 from 11:45 AM -2:00 PM.

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The event is FREE and open to the public, but a ticket for all attending is required. Visit the
mayor’s website for more information and to reserve your place.

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Kansas City Area Macy’s — Reading is Fundamental — Reach Out and Read- KC

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.

So get out there and shop at your local Macy’s!  There are 6 locations in the Kansas City metro area: Leawood Town Center, Oak Park Mall, Prairie Village, Summit Fair in Lee’s Summit, Metro North, and Independence Center.

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Anuva receives the Bronze Presidential Award

Volunteer Spotlight

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.

Anuva receives the Bronze Presidential Award

Anuva receives the Bronze Presidential Award

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Macy’s campaign benefits RIF & ROR-KC

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.

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Meet Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner

“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!

 

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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

Executive Director, Mark Mattison

Giving Thanks, Giving Literacy

Executive Director, Mark Mattison

Executive Director, Mark Mattison, in ROR-KC book processing room

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!

 

Reach Out and Read Kansas City Medical Director, Sallie Page-Goertz, during a well-child visit with four month old Katie.

ROR-KC Medical Director, Sallie Page-Goertz, during well-child visit with four month old Katie

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,

Mark Mattison
Executive Director

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Hooked on Books Is Back

Hooked on Books Mouse Logo jpgImagine 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.

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2013-2014 National Annual Report

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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!

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Reach Out and Read Kansas City Awarded Federal Grant to Help Early Childhood Literacy

Reach Out and Read Kansas City has been named sub-recipient in a $3.8 million Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant awarded to the Children’s Reading Foundation by the U.S. Department of Education. For 2014-2015, we will receive $22,590 to pilot two new early literacy and early learning programs to serve high-poverty communities in the Greater Kansas City area.

 

Training for READY! For Kindergarten Program“We are honored to have the opportunity to build upon the solid foundation of our existing clinic-based school readiness program by presenting early learning and literacy skills workshops directly to local families,” said Mark Mattison, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Kansas City. “Following the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s decision to add Kindergarten Readiness to its Big 5 Goals, this grant provides the perfect opportunity for us to do our part by expanding our current role.” Per the terms of the grant, we will be introducing in Kansas City the READY! For Kindergarten and Read Up programs, both developed by the Children’s Reading Foundation and currently operating successfully in chapter sites throughout the U.S. and Canada.

 

READY! For Kindergarten classes provide training and tools for parents and caregivers, equipping them to help children birth to age five develop strong brain connections, ensuring school success. Studies show nearly 80 percent of children whose parents take part in READY! meet the kindergarten reading readiness standard regardless of family income or ethnicity, compared to 55 percent of children whose parents do not attend.

 

The Read Up program is a summer literacy program that helps keep reading a part of daily summer routines by providing free books and weekly story times for children birth to eight. The program aims to reverse the “summer slide,” a situation where students lose up to three months of reading skills when school is out. Through this program, Reach Out and Read Kansas City will receive and distribute more than 13,000 books.

 

The nonprofit National Children’s Reading Foundation is headquartered in Kennewick, Wash. The organization was founded in 1996 with the vision that every child learns to read early and well, thereby reaching his or her full potential in school and life. The reading foundation developed and delivers national programs focused on reading skills and school readiness for children birth to age five. The organization also helps establish local Children’s Reading Foundation chapters in communities across the country. Learn more at:  www.readingfoundation.org.

 

Read the Children’s Reading Foundation’s press release.

Hil Clinton

Literacy Toolkit for Pediatricians and Parents Unveiled by Hilary Clinton

booksbuildconnectionstoolkit_withtag_800w“Fewer than half of children younger than 5 years old are read to daily in our country. For 25 years, programs such as Reach Out and Read have been promoting literacy in exam rooms nationwide, and now, even more pediatricians are taking a stand…”

 

The former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, released a new literacy toolkit titled Books Build Connections at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in San Diego on October 12th. Clinton and the AAP have partnered to create this early literacy toolkit written by pediatricians for pediatricians to help them discuss with parents and caregivers the importance of early literacy in brain development.

 

In a press release issued by the AAP, it is noted that “in June 2014, [we] announced a collaborative partnership with Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. The organizations have committed to promote early literacy and ensure that doctors, parents and caregivers have the information, tools and books they need to promote talking, reading out loud and singing to children every day starting in infancy.”

 

The president of the AAP, James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, said, “Fewer than half of children younger than 5 years old are read to daily in our country. For 25 years, programs such as Reach Out and Read have been promoting literacy in exam rooms nationwide, and now, even more pediatricians are taking a stand to spread the news more widely through our recent policy, toolkit and partnership with Too Small to Fail. Talking, reading and singing with young children is a joyful way to build strong and healthy parent-child relationships, foster early language skills and promote children’s development.”

 

Furthermore, as part of the partnership with Too Small to Fail and AAP, Scholastic, Inc. agreed to donate 500,000 new, age-appropriate children’s books for distribution through Reach Out and Read National, working with 20,000 medical providers nationwide to promote early reading and giving books to 4 million children and their families annually at pediatric visits.

 

The Books Build Connections toolkit, available online at www.aap.org/literacy, incorporates recommendations to emphasize early literacy, from an infant’s very first days, as an essential aspect of pediatric care. According to the AAP, “the toolkit provides updated, practical resources for pediatric professionals, as well as guidance for families on the importance of talking, reading, and singing with their children to promote early learning. The toolkit includes 12 tip sheets, parent handouts and other publications in easy-to-use, mobile-friendly formats to help pediatricians promote early literacy.”

 

Resources include:

-16 concrete ways pediatric health professionals can promote early literacy in their practice and community;

-Background for pediatric professionals on the science of early literacy;

-Parent-friendly tips on sharing books with children at specific ages and stages of development, from birth through age 10;

-Advice for parents on “the secret to a smarter baby”;

-Recommendations on choosing books for children based on age and topic, including specific titles;

-Tips from doctors on reading with very young children, including the 5 Rs of early education.

 

“Pediatricians want all parents and caregivers to know that by making special one-on-one time every day to read, talk and play with their young children, they are promoting their child’s early learning. This kind of treasured experience actually creates new connections in their child’s brain that promote language development and secure the bond between parent and child,” said Pamela High, MD, FAAP, lead author of the AAP’s early literacy policy statement. “By creating the Books Build Connections toolkit, the AAP and Too Small to Fail, in collaboration with Reach Out and Read, are getting the word out to families that early experiences really matter.”

 

Olivia, age 5

Fall Fundraising Campaign Kicks Off

For just $60 you can contribute to a child’s lifetime of success.

Join Reach Out and Read Kansas City in our mission today and help us provide books to thousands of children who need them tomorrow. Donate here

 

Every night before she goes to sleep, five-year-old Olivia runs to her book shelf and pulls out her favorite book, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. It takes her less than two minutes to get situated comfortably in her mom’s lap before she hands the book over and says she is ready to read. As her mom begins the story, Olivia soon chimes in line by line, word by word. You see, the book Olivia is so excited to read is a very special book she received at her three-year-old well child checkup from her pediatrician. She has read the story at least two hundred times, but that doesn’t matter. Every night before bed, she gets to escape into the story and become one of the characters, she gets to leave the real world and become part of the book’s fantasy world. Olivia may only be five, but thanks to Reach Out and Read Kansas City, she has already developed a love of reading and is ready to enter kindergarten and succeed.

 

This is just one success story from Reach Out and Read Kansas City. There are 29,000 more stories of kids just like Olivia who are learning to love books and reading. It is our hope you will help us ensure these children continue to have books to call their own. We want to make sure children enter kindergarten ready to learn, and with your help we can do that. No matter the size of your gift– $5 to sponsor a new book or $60 to sponsor a child throughout the five year program or $250 to sponsor a small clinic–you are making a difference in the lives of Kansas City kids.

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Guest Blog- Party With a Purpose at 3rd Annual Books & Brews Event

The following post is a guest blog from Libby Hastert, an online content writer, and a volunteer, close friend, and supporter of Reach Out and Read Kansas City. To view her original post on her own blog, please click here.

 

“I grew up with books. Literally sitting on them in the classroom and sleeping on them during naptime. Before I could even read, I had an innate understanding of what books represented.

 

Teachers had them. Librarians had them. My parents and older sisters had them.

 

Other things these individuals had? Intelligence and independence. So, naturally, I deduced that reading books equated to power. And I wasn’t too off base. Reading books ushers in an exciting world of possibilities that stems from newfound knowledge — knowledge acquired from reading books.

 

The funny thing about my obsession with books is how much I struggled with reading at an early age. It wasn’t my missing two front teeth, knocked out on the Jungle Gym, that kept me fumbling over sentences, though. For whatever reason, I was a late bloomer when it came to reading. Fortunately for me, I had parents, teachers, tutors, and older sisters to show me the way, introducing me to the mischievous adventures of “Junie B. Jones” and so many other action-packed titles.

 

Sadly, we live in a world where many children — our very own Kansas City youth included — don’t have the access to the overabundance of resources I had. In fact, many do not even have books to call their own.

 

Why Children’s Literacy  Matters

 

According to the National Education Association (NEA), children from families below the poverty line are less likely to experience daily, in-home reading. In another study, the NEA discovered that in-home reading plays an instrumental role in healthy child development and enhanced reading proficiency.

 

What makes the absence of reading so problematic?

 

What’s most concerning about this phenomenon, is that the early years of child development have a large impact on the learners children become.

 

“Children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life, when their brains grow to 90 percent of their eventual adult weight,” reported the U.S. Department of Education.

 

As a result, the absence of reading becomes a problem for many kids well before the school years begin. With many children not having access to the basic necessities they need to flourish, promoting literacy through local programs like Reach Out & Read – Kansas City (RORKC) is more important than ever.

 

Party With a Purpose

 

As somebody who was fortunate enough to have a collection of books so large it poured off the bookshelves, onto the floor and into my bed, I can appreciate the wonderful efforts RORKC makes annually. And as a proud volunteer, I’ll take a moment to brag.

 

RORKC annually provides over 72,000 new books for more than 28,000 low-income children who are 0-5 years old. Book donations are issued during well-child visits at our local, partner clinic sites. Children in the program ultimately acquire a 13-book library before entering the education system. 

 

Books & Brews

 

Fundraising isn’t all bubbly and door prizes. However, twice a year we host events, designed to raise money and awareness about children’s literacy in the Kansas City area. This week, Kansas Citians have the opportunity to party for a purpose at our 3rd annual Books & Brews fundraiser.

 

Below is the scoop on the upcoming, not-to-be-missed event.

 

Who: 

You’ll find lots of book-loving folks who want to drink beer while promoting literacy.

 

When:

Friday, September 26, 2014, at 5 pm sharp.

 

Where:

The Kansas City Public Library Central Branch. Snacks, libations, and a raffle will be held inside, and a beer garden party, underneath the lights of the Kansas City skyline, will be located on the rooftop.

 

What:

Party with a purpose. Our third annual Books & Brews event comes complete with an evening of libations, tasty bites, and a fun raffle and door prizes.

 

Drinking beer is fun, but you can do that any other night of the week.  Drinking beer and raising money for children’s literacy is awesome, and it’s something you can only enjoy one night a year.

 

To attend this evening of entertainment, click the link and make your donation in the form of a ticket purchase”

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Early Literacy and Reading Aloud is Taking the Lead

Early literacy has become a popular topic this week as the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its first-ever policy statement focused on literacy promotion. The policy calls for pediatricians to advise all parents about the many benefits of reading aloud, which promotes literacy and motor skills.

 

The new statement, aimed at 62,000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics’, urges pediatricians to talk to parents about how critical reading aloud is for children’s brain development and literacy skills, and to provide books during visits for all low-income, high-risk children.

 

Reach Out and Read Kansas City is extremely excited to see how this new policy affects children’s development and enhances their lives. For 25 years, Reach Out and Read has trained doctors and nurse practitioners to give books and early literacy advice at well-child visits, and now that it is becoming an official policy for all pediatricians to follow, even more parents will understand the importance of reading to their children every day.

 

Studies have shown that every year, more than one in three children enter kindergarten without the language skills required to learn how to read.  In low-income families, children hear very few words by the time they are three. Reach Out and Read works to solve this problem every day and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new policy is another step in the right direction.

 

Now, there is nowhere to go but up as we continue to fight for children’s literacy and hope to witness even more children enter school ready to read and succeed.

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A Reach Out and Read Success Story!

Earlier this year, I experienced the direct impact Reach Out and Read Kansas City made on a young girl who went through the program. Back in September, I was working with the Blue Valley High School CAPS film class to put together different impact videos that showcased Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s message. I developed the concept of having real kids in the videos to really show the audience who it is our program helps. I began a search to find young children who took part in the Reach Out and Read Program and benefited from receiving a book at each well-child visit. This is how I met Joslyn.  The minute I met her I could tell she was a very bright little girl.

 

I was given Joslyn’s name through one of our hospital coordinators and from there I contacted her mom to see if she had any interest in being in our videos. Her mom immediately agreed, saying Joslyn loved being the center of attention. When I met her, she was actually quite shy at first. But as soon as I asked her about the chapter book, Polyanna, which she had clutched to her chest, a wide smile appeared on her face and she began to go into detail about the story.

 

Joslyn just turned six years old and she was already reading chapter books that kids twice her age read. It was amazing to see her come out of her shell as she explained the different adventures Polyanna went on. Reach Out and Read Kansas City helped kick start Joslyn’s learning by giving her a book during each stage of her development, and by six years old she could read all on her own and loved doing so!

 

Months later, I received an email from Joslyn’s mom saying that Joslyn has great problem solving skills, a good grasp of cause and effect, and is in the highest reading group in her kindergarten class. She believed that reading to Joslyn since she was a baby helped her learn how to read. At the end of her email she added, “thank you Reach Out and Read for allowing Joslyn to have this experience.”  That right there is why we do what we do. All kids deserve the opportunity to grow up with a bright future, Reach Out and Read Kansas City jump starts that process by making sure each child who takes part in our program enters kindergarten willing and ready to learn.