If a book is never read, does it still tell a story? Reach Out and Read is a charity geared towards ensuring that question never needs to be asked. The not for profit’s mission is introducing children to reading at the earliest stages, incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read together. Through Reach Out and Read, children are provided with books by their pediatricians at each well-child visit, from 6 months to 5 years of age. The charity also educates parents on the benefits of reading with your child for long term mental, emotional and social development.
Founded in 1989 at what was then known as Boston City Hospital, Reach Out and Read has since brought its message on the importance of reading to children in all 50 states. Today, the not-for-profit serves up more than 6.5 million books per year across 5,500 program sites. Each of those books is acquired through the organization’s privately raised funds and through partnerships with children’s book publishers, like us.
When it comes to reading, Reach Out and Read has the science to back up its core foundations of promoting early childhood reading, especially with parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics has called early literacy “an essential component of pediatric primary care.” Turning opinions into facts, studies have consistently linked decreased literacy levels in children with higher mortality rates in adults, partially attributed to the inability to follow up with doctor recommended health plans and the inability to read dosage warnings on prescription bottles.
Serving more than 4.5 million families annually, Reach Out and Reach has found that parents served by their program are 2.5 times more likely to read aloud to their children. It’s an especially important task during preschool years where children’s language skills generally increase by 2-6 months in Reach Out and Read families. Lifelong learning and literacy begins in the home as parents are not only provided with the reading materials, they are also educated by one of their most trusted advisors, their child’s doctor, on the benefits of reading aloud to their children.
One of the largest hurdles to early reading in low income families is the cost of reading material. Reach Out and Read overcomes this barrier using their efficient and accountable fundraising efforts to acquire developmentally appropriate books directly from publishers at steep discounts. While their current focus is in targeting low income communities, Reach Out and Read has lofty goals and wants to see reading education, and books, as a party of every young child’s check-ups.
This is where you can help. At Bryson’s Books our goal is to donate 25% of our profits to Reach Out and Read and similar programs that benefit children. Your contribution today allows Reach Out and Read to stretch their non-profit dollars further and reach more children nationwide. By shopping with us, you have helped give the gift of reading to a child or family who may not have been able to otherwise afford it, building a foundation for literacy that will last a lifetime.
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