A PUBLICATION OF THE CHILDREN'S LEARNING INSTITUTE
Reach Out and Read Texas: Promoting Early Literacy in Local Communities
Reach Out and Read Texas is one of the Children’s Learning Institute’s State Initiatives, dedicated to supporting early literacy across Texas. The program provides young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
The Children’s Learning Institute houses the offices of Reach Out and Read Texas, supporting nearly 900 medical providers and more than 300,000 young children each year, particularly in communities serving at-risk children. More than 90% of brain development occurs within the first five years, and early literacy development is critical to later success in school and beyond.
This holiday season, Reach Out and Read Texas partnered with KPMG’s Houston office to support five Reach Out and Read clinics in the community. Supporting Reach Out and Read Texas is part of KPMG’s Family for Literacy initiative with a mission to eradicate childhood illiteracy by putting books into the hands of children in need and developing the next generation of young leaders through reading.
KPMG raised over $100,000 for their Family for Literacy initiative, more than doubling their goal of $50,000. We are thankful that KPMG chose to support Reach Out and Read Texas this year, adding our program as their newest partner supporting early literacy. KPMG’s support for Reach Out and Read Texas will provide over 3,700 new books for five clinics in the Houston area.
On December 4, CLI staff joined KPMG at their offices for a volunteer event focused on Reach Out and Read Texas. At the event, KPMG staff volunteered to place KPMG Family for Literacy labels and bookmarks into the donated books. The bookmarks feature reading tips to support families in reading aloud at home. Visit our Facebook page to view more photos from the event!
KPMG staff then delivered the new books to the clinics, meeting the dedicated staff and families that participate in Reach Out and Read. KPMG staff will begin volunteering as readers in the waiting rooms of these clinics, sharing their favorite stories and demonstrating techniques for reading aloud to young children. The volunteer event was a wonderful kick-off to the holiday season for Reach Out and Read Texas; we look forward to continuing our partnership with KPMG’s Family for Literacy initiative into the new year.
Medical providers across Texas participate in Reach Out and Read, supporting young children’s language development by providing age-appropriate advice for parents about reading together, a new book at each regular check-up from 6 months through 5 years old, and a literacy-rich waiting room area. Reading aloud is one of the most important things that parents can do to prepare children for success in school and life. Reach Out and Read benefits from the role of medical providers, trusted sources of information for families, to promote literacy through a child’s regular check-ups, offering tips to parents that emphasize how reading together helps families create strong emotional bonds and positive lifelong memories.
Although reading is the foundation for all learning, up to 66% of children grow up in families that do not read aloud daily. Multiple research studies have demonstrated that parents served by Reach Out and Read are 2.5 times more likely to read to their children, and 2 times more likely to read to their children more than three times per week. By the time they reach preschool, children served by Reach Out and Read score three-to-six months ahead of their peers on vocabulary assessments, critical school readiness skills that support children’s success in kindergarten and beyond.
Reach Out and Read offers great resources for families to support early literacy development. Download Reach Out and Read’s Milestones of Early Literacy Development to learn how parents can support children at home and help prepare them for later success in school (available in English and Spanish):
Visit http://reachoutandreadtexas.org for more information about Reach Out and Read Texas, including reading tips and other resources to support early literacy with your children and in your community.