ROR-Iowa Logo  Making Books Part of a Healthy Childhood

Reach Out and Read makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care, so that children grow up with books and a love of reading.   
In this issue:
Rep. Latham ROR-Iowa Site Visit
Nation's First Bookend County
ROR Welcomes New CEO
Prescribe a Book Act (PABA)
Charles Gabus Memorial Bike Ride
Thank you
New Websites
ROR-Iowa Launches
New Website
ROR National Unveils Updated Website
WDM Barnes & Noble Bookfair
4550 University Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 
Sunday, November 29 10:00am-9:00pm

Reach Out and Read Iowa 

Vol. 1 November 2009
Deb S. and Jane H. at Bookend Event October 2009Dear Friends of Reach Out
and Read Iowa,
Welcome to the inaugural issue
of the Reach Out and Read Iowa
e-newsletter, which serves the dual purposes of reflecting our mission -
to make literacy promotion a standard part of children's health care so they grow up with books and a love of reading - and expanding outreach to our growing network of friends. The latter is particularly important during this exciting time, as ROR-Iowa continues to grow and serve more children and reach out to more communities.
This support was particularly in evidence on October 21st at McFarland Clinic when the hospital's atrium was filled to capacity in celebration of the Bookend Community event, at which Story County was lauded as the first county in the nation to earn a Bookend Community Award. As you peruse our initial newsletter, join me in celebrating all that is yet to come for Reach Out and Read Iowa!

Debra Salowitz, Chair
Reach Out and Read Iowa Advisory Committee
Festival of Trees & Lights
 Blank Children's Hospital Festival of Trees & Lights
Join Reach Out and Read Iowa in supporting the Festival of Trees & Lights. Come visit our "Neighborhood Tree" during the festival:
November 25-29, 2009
Polk County Convention Complex
501 Grand Avenue Downtown Des Moines
Barnes and Noble Bookfairs
Around Iowa
Barnes and Noble
North Park Mall
Davenport, Iowa
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Barnes and Noble
Southern Hills Mall
Sioux City, Iowa
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Upcoming Bookdrives in Des Moines area
Borders Books
4100 University Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa
November 27, 2009 - January 1, 2010 
Beaverdale Books
2629 Beaver Avenue, #S1
Des Moines, Iowa 
February 6 - March 6, 2010
Green Eggs and Ham
2nd Annual Green Eggs and Ham Benefit Breakfast for Books
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
7:30am - 9:00am
State Historical Museum,   Des Moines, IA
Charles Gabus Memorial Bike Ride
Mark your calendars for     June 20, 2010 (Urbandale, Iowa) for the Charles Gabus Memorial Bike Ride and join Northwest Rotary in supporting ROR-Iowa.
Welcome New Sites
Broadlawns Medical Center,
Des Moines, IA
September 2009
Linn Community Cares,   
Cedar Rapids, IA
October 2009
Find existing ROR-Iowa programs @
 ROR - Iowa in the News
Ames Tribune Online: October 22, 2009 -
Story County Becomes First   Bookend County in US
Des Moines Register:
October 21, 2009 -
Health Profile -
Helping Patients Understand
Follow-up Links
Upcoming State Legislative Days
Blank Children's Hospital Legislative Day
Thursday, January 14, 2010
7:30am - 9:00am
Early Childhood Iowa
Day on the Hill
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
United Ways of Iowa
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Congressman Latham ROR-Iowa Site Visit
Congressman Latham Visits ROR-Iowa Site

Pediatricians who perform well-child check-ups at McFarland Clinic in Ames ask all the questions parents would expect during the head-to-toe assessment. In addition to measuring height and weight and other physical milestones, doctors also query parents about other developmental benchmarks.

Dr. Jack Swanson, for example, asks parents of infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children, "Are you reading to your child?" If the child is old enough to read, he asks how their reading and vocabulary skills are progressing. But Swanson doesn't just ask questions. He also gives books to children, provided by Reach Out and Read Iowa.
Congressman Latham visited McFarland Clinic on Monday, November 23, 2009 to learn about the program and read with young patients.

Bookend Event Award Presentation

Nation's First Bookend County
Doctors throughout Story County are sending their youngest patients home with free books and advice for their parents - "Read to your child every day." And now, because of their dedication to and participation in the Read Out and Read Iowa (ROR-Iowa) program, Story County has become the first "Bookend County" in the nation. 
Earl PhalenReach Out and Read 
National Welcomes
New CEO Earl Phalen

In September 2009, Reach Out and Read named Earl Martin Phalen its new Chief Executive Officer. He is a proven leader whose incredible passion for improving children's lives through education will help Reach Out and Read do an even better job of getting books into the hands of the children and families who need them most.
Phalen, who has more than 16 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, has dedicated his career to strengthening low-income families and communities. As a student at Harvard Law in 1992, Earl founded Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL), a nonprofit organization that tutors and mentors schoolchildren who have fallen behind their peers and keeps them focused on the goal of attending and graduating from college.  As CEO for 15 years, Earl increased annual revenues from $12,000 to $25.5 million and grew BELL from a local community service project serving 20 students to a national nonprofit that educates more than 12,000 scholars annually.
Phalen served on the education policy group for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and as co-chair of Massachusetts Governor Deval Partrick's education task force.  President Bill Clinton named him as a recipient of the President's Service Award in 1997.  Phalen is also the Founder and Chair of Summer Advantage USA, a nonprofit that provides scientifically-proven learning opportunities for students during summer months to combat summer learning loss. 
Prescribe a Book Act

Authorizes competitive pediatric early literacy grant program  
The Prescribe a Book Act (PABA) creates a Pediatric Early Literacy program under which the Secretary of Education awards matching grants to nonprofit organizations for the implementation of three-part models through which:
(1) health care providers encourage parents to read aloud to their children and offer them recommendations and strategies for doing so;
(2) health care providers give each visiting child between the ages of six months and five-years a new, developmentally appropriate children's book to take home and keep; and
(3) volunteers reading to children in health care facility waiting areas show parents the techniques and pleasures of reading aloud to children. Requires that the books provided to children under the program be obtained at a discount.
PABA was introduced by Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Mark Souder (R-IN) in the House and by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) in the Senate and is supported by a broad national coalition, including: American Academy of Pediatrics, Docs for Tots, International Reading Association, National Council of La Raza, National Association of Children's Hospitals, National Center for Family Literacy, and Ounce of Prevention.
NW Check Presentation v2Inaugural Charles Gabus Memorial Bike Ride Benefits ROR-Iowa 

The inaugural Charles Gabus Memorial Bike Ride was held on July 5th, 2009, starting at the Walker Johnson Park in Urbandale and following that cities trail system. Distance choices of 5 miles, 20 miles and even 60 miles were options for the 100 riders.
The project was strongly supported by sponsorship from 37 cash donors, with over half from Northwest Rotary. The sponsor total was $23,300, in addition to 10 in-kind donors. A Raffle offering a bike and other prizes grossed $5,375.
ROR-Iowa was one of the many beneficiaries of this event. NW Rotary generously donated $2500 to ROR-Iowa which will help put books in the hands of over 1000 children in Iowa.
Thank You
 to ROR - Iowa
 Partners and Funders!
 Barnes and Noble
Beaverdale Books
Drake University
Iowa Academy of Family Physicians
Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Iowa Community Empowerment
Iowa Medical Society
Iowa/Nebraska Primary Care Association
Iowa Foundation for Medical Care
McGowen, Hurst, Clark, and Smith, P.C.
Northwest Rotary
Principal Birdies for Charity
Quality Resource Group, Inc.
Rotary District 6000
St. Pius X School
United Way of Central Iowa
Variety - The  Children's Charity
Vilsack Foundation
Wellmark Foundation 
ROR-Iowa Advisory Committee
Christie Vilsack, Honorary Chair 
Debra Salowitz, Chair
Nader Ajluni, DO
Frank Burns
Jamie Christophersen, MD
Stephanie Drey
Carolyn Jons
Deb Kazmerzak
Angie Martin-Schwartz
Jody Murph, MD, MS
Linda Plummer
Liz Rodgers
Kay Runge
Rizwan Shah, MD
Archie Willard
Lynn Woolums 
ROR-Iowa Staff
Mary Ann Abrams, MD, MPH Coalition Leader/Medical Director
Molly Olinger Topf      
Program Director

About Reach Out and Read Iowa

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. ROR builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. The 3.8 million families served annually by ROR read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, with stronger language skills, and better prepared to succeed.
The ROR-Iowa Coalition serves over 51,000 children at 72 ROR programs throughout Iowa.
The Mission 
Reach Out and Read makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care, so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. Reach Out and Read trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to childrenat pediatric checkups from 6 months through 5 years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. By building on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, Reach Out and Read helps families and communities encourage early literacy skills so children enter school prepared for success in reading. 

The Reach Out and Read Model
Pediatric healthcare providers (including pediatricians, family physicians, and pediatric nurse practitioners) are trained in the three-part ROR model to promote early literacy and school readiness:
In the exam room, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. The pediatric primary care provider gives every child 6 months through 5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep. In the waiting room, displays, information, and gently-used books create a literacy-rich environment. Where possible, volunteer readers entertain the children, modeling for parents the pleasures - and techniques - of reading aloud.
Donate to Reach Out and Read Iowa

Levels of Sponsorship for Children's Book Purchases
(Books purchased at 40-60% discount of retail price)
   $1,600 helps ROR provide the full, five-year program to 40 children
   $800 helps provide the ROR program to 20 children
   $160 helps provide the ROR program to a family with four children
   $40 enables ROR to provide the full, five-year program to one child
Calling All Gently-Used Children's Books
Donate your gently-used children's books for pediatric reading corners in waiting rooms. They are also used to distribute to children at various other visits in pediatric primary care providers' offices. Conduct a used children's book drive in your community, church or business.

 Make checks payable to: Reach Out and Read Iowa, PO Box 1382, Johnston, IA 50131