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Reach Out and Read Washington State
In This Issue
The Story of Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read Partners Celebrate and Strategize
State Early Learning Plan Moves Forward
Lewis County and Centralia Declare July Family Reading Month
A Summer of a Million Books
United Way Supports Wenatchee and Chelan Programs...
The Case Against Summer Vacation
Put Books in the Hands of Children
Quick Links
Support Reach Out and Read in Washington
Donate online
Do your Amazon shopping from the logo-link on our website and you benefit Reach Out and Read programs!  
August 2010
As the final days of summer head our way, it is a wonderful time to enjoy the great outdoors, while tucking books in with our beach towels and hiking gear.  Our family has an almost equal passion for exploring our amazing National Parks, as we do for reading.  So there is nothing better than this year's summer trip with days spent hiking in Glacier National Park and the parks of the Canadian Rockies, followed by evenings reading until we fell asleep. We hope summer brought joy to you and the lives of the children you care for. In the Summer of a Million Books story below, you'll see how United We Serve is working to connect literacy and physical activity through Let's Read. Let's Move.  What a great idea for kids of all ages! 
As fall hints at its pending arrival, we are preparing for exciting opportunities at Reach Out and Read Washington State.  We will be moving into our new office soon. As we do so we are searching for a Program Director with the talents and passion to help lead a new phase in the life of Reach Out and Read.  This person will have the primary support role for more than 100 programs across Washington state, providing the technical assistance to launch and sustain high quality programs, while helping our programs connect with community partners. Please help us find the right person by passing along the link to the position description for Regional Program Director Washington State.
As we move forward in these exciting times, we need your support for Reach Out and Read. Financial support from individuals is incredibly important to our mission, and helps us leverage our many partnerships. In this newsletter you'll find three easy ways to donate--a general donation via the online link to the left; a donation to support the Million Books campaign (story below), and simply remembering to go through our website when you shop at Amazon (see the last story).  Truly $5 can transport a child into the wonderful world of books, and help transform the future. During economic downtimes, it is harder than ever for families to purchase books. Just for today, could you pack a sack lunch, or skip your latte, and help us purchase a book for a small child instead?

We extend our best wishes for an enjoyable end to summer, followed by the excitement that fall always brings.  Here's to success for those entering school, and to our collective efforts to prepare our youngest learners for a lifelong love of reading!
Jill Sells MD, Director
Read on to learn about many of partnerships, and stop by to learn more. 
New video highlights parents and partnerships
We love to talk with parents, doctors, early learning colleagues and potential partners of all types about Reach Out and Read.  We are always excited and humbled by the immediate understanding of the Reach Out and Read program, and the desire to reach more children and families.  We are grateful to our partners across the state for their interest, and have been working to find ways to facilitate further conversations to support and expand Reach Out and Read.  We are delighted to release this new short Reach Out and Read Washington video, and hope you enjoy viewing it on our website!  Hard copies are available to help doctors and partners set the stage for collaborative conversations to support and expand Reach Out and Read in communities all across the state.  If you would like a copy of the video to support early learning and Reach Out and Read in your area, please contact Patricia Hennessy at
Site Visit Marks First Year of Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Project

HHTPCP Site Visit Team and participants.
Reach Out and Read Washington hosted a site visit as part of our 5-year Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP) grant. 

Our project Improving School Readiness in Washington State through Reach Out and Read focuses on integrating Reach Out and Read and doctors into state and local early learning efforts.HTPCP is a cooperative program between the federal Maternal Child Health Bureau and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). An AAP pediatrician and staff members led the site visit team. Held at the Thrive by Five Washington office in Seattle, the meeting was attended by more than 20 people, including staff from the Reach Out and Read National Center in Boston, and our community partners and funders.  

It was powerful to hear Thrive by Five Washington, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Washington State Departments of Early Learning and Health, the Boeing Company, United Ways of Washington, and the Foundation for Early Learning share how much they value the work Reach Out and Read doctors do each day with children and families. This was a great opportunity to discuss the impact Reach Out and Read has on  families and communities, and ways we can work together to enhance outcomes for children across the state.
Photo courtesy Karla Palmer, American Academy of Pediatrics
3-year Action Plan includes Early Literacy and
Reach Out and Read
At the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC) meeting on July 26th, ELAC adopted the statewide Early Learning Plan (ELP).  Developed over the last year, the ELP is a roadmap that will guide early learning efforts and partnerships across the state for years to come. The Department of Early Learning, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Thrive by Five Washington have lead responsibility for implementing the Early Learning Plan, which includes many important strategies for ensuring all children in Washington are prepared to succeed in school and life.
The three agencies have reviewed considerable stakeholder input, and recented released their draft The Early Learning Partnership 3-Year Action Plan. The following questions helped guide strategic choices around next steps:
  • Is the strategy/action grounded in science and is it measurable? 
  • Does it address the preparation gap? 
  • Is there financing or is it a legislative priority for early learning? 
  • Is it grounded in the ELP vision and guiding principles?
The plan identifies a number of strategies that leverage resources and programs at the local, regional and state levels that are critical to the development of a comprehensive system for early learning in our state. Supporting Ready and Successful Children the ELP Strategy Increase Use of Early Literacy Services and Programs highlights Reach Out and Read and the Culture of Literacy Initiative.
Reach Out and Read Washington State's approach is to provide support to parents as their child's first teachers within the context of an overall early learning system. We engage those who families say they trust most - their children's doctors- in early learning.  We incorporate parenting support and early literacy into the medical home within communities across the state.  We support the Early Learn Plan, and appreciate the incredible dedication of all those involved with its development over the past year.  Visit the DEL website to read more about ELAC and the Early Learning Plan. 
kaitlyn and katieRead and Romp! brings out children and families to celebrate literacy
The Northwest Pediatric Center in Centralia is one of our newest Reach Out and Read programs, and the clinic kicked off their new program in grand style!  Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George were on hand in Centralia on July 24th to introduce kids to 10 activity stations, each themed after a different children's book. A partnership with the Timberland Regional Library, Centralia College, the Lewis County Eye on Early Learning Coalition, and the Foundation for Early Learning, Read and Romp! brought the community together around a shared love of reading. This fun-filled day for kids of all ages was attended by over 400 children and their families.
Read Kids to Get Books During Health Check Ups to learn more about the launch of Reach Out and Read in Centralia. We thank Providence Centralia Hospital for their generous support to help launch this new program, and hope that other hospitals across Washington will follow their lead.  Partnerships between hospitals and local pediatric practices to support parents and promote literacy are a win-win for communities. 
Kaitlyn reads to Annie, a shepherd mix fro the Paws Read program. (Photo courtesy Dr. Lily Lo, Centralia; see more photos at the Northwest Pediatric Center)
Reach Out and Read partners with United We Serve to touch families across the nation 

President Active LogoReach Out and Read launched a bold new campaign to give a brand-new, age-appropriate book to one million children in need before Labor Day. The Summer of a Million Books campaign unites Reach Out and Read doctors and other primary care providers at 4,500 hospitals and clinics across the country in their mission to prepare America's youngest children to succeed in school.  As of August 1st more than 500,000 books have been distributed!  Support this campaign and help Reach Out and Read Washington State achieve our goal this summer. With just $5 you can help show widespread support for Reach Out and Read in Washington. Donate online at Summer of a Million Books.   

Reach Out and Read developed the Summer of a Million Books in conjunction with United We Serve's Let's Read. Let's Move initiative, which aims to promote community service and combat illiteracy and childhood obesity.  Reach Out and Read is a national partner of Let's Read. Let's Move., an Administration-wide effort led by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Wenatchee_UWphotoo New Partnership for Wenatchee and Chelan Clinics During National Health Center Week  
Reach Out and Read Washington Director Dr. Jill Sells was pleased to visit the Columbia Valley programs as Alan Walker, Executive Director of United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties, presented Reach Out and Read Program Coordinator Rebecca Schimelfenig, RN and CEO Patrick Bucknum with funding to help buy new books for their programs. 
"We are very excited to provide funding assistance to Columbia Valley Community Health in support of their Reach Out and Read program.This is truly a unique program bringing the medical community together to raise literacy rates, improve patient/doctor relations and give young children books to explore," said Walker. "Reading with children 20-minutes a day gives them one million words a year!  That is powerful education that will last a lifetime."  Through the Partnership for Children and Families, United Way and Reach Out and Read are part of the local Culture of Literacy Initiative.
Reach Out and Read extends our appreciation to Rebecca for more than 10 years of leadership and fundraising, to Dr. Lori Ksander for being the physician champion for the program, and to all the providers and staff who work hard to make sure each young child at the Columbia Valley Community Health Clinics leaves his checkup with a brand new book. We are pleased to honor this clinic as one of our "early adopters."  Columbia Valley has been participating in Reach Out and Read since 1998.   
Reach Out and Read CEO highlighted in Time Magazine.
Earl Martin PhalenMost of us have only fond memories of childhood summers, but it turns out those breaks have serious consequence for many children. The August 2nd edition of Time magazine discusses summer vacation and how it negatively impacts children, especially those who are low-income. The article "The Case Against Summer Vacation" discusses 'summer learning loss' or 'the summer slide'. 
Children with access to high quality activities like family vacations, summer camp, or museum visits keep their minds active and are better able to retain knowledge.  Unfortunately, children without resources are more likely to start school in the fall further behind their more affluent peers.  On page 42 of the magazine, Dr. Earl Phalen, CEO of Reach Out and Read discusses his commitment to education and the innovative programs he has been involved in. A link to the full Time magazine article as well as an interview with Dr. Phalen conducted by Michael F. Shaughnessy from Education News on July 29th can be found at the Reach Out and Read Newsroom.
Summer fun at its best includes books, play time outside, and trips to the local library for our youngest children.  As a year-round program in doctors' offices, Reach Out and Read continues to support parents and give books to children throughout the summer months. We hope you, and the children in your lives, enjoy some great books during these summer August days!
Photo courtesy Reach Out and Read National Center
Support Reach Out and Read while you shop
Dr.Woodruff and familyYou can help doctors put books into children's hands without spending an extra dime! If you do any shopping online via, a portion of your purchase can support ROR across Washington state.  Simply go to and click on the logo on the left bottom corner of the page to begin your shopping.  If you click through and make a purchase, at least 4% will go directly to Reach Out and Read in Washington! This is an ongoing partnership for us, so please take this extra step before shopping at Amazon and share this opportunity with your friends and family.
Please consider also making a direct tax-deductible donation to Reach Out and Read: Donate on Line. Just $5 can help place a beautiful book where it belongs, in a child's home.
Photo courtesy of Pediatrics Northwest PS, Tacoma
Reach Out and Read is an integral part of early learning systems across Washington state. Our medical providers are supporting parents, and helping make sure children have the services they need to experience optimal health and early learning. Reach Out and Read Washington state is building relationships between our programs and other early learning programs and systems, so that together we can help all children be healthy and ready for success in school and life. These efforts are vital to the future of each child, and to our state. We thank you for your support.

Jill Sells MD, Director 
Mary Ann Woodruff MD, Medical Director 
Patricia M. Hennessy, Community Development Director
About Us
Founded in 2007, Reach Out and Read Washington State makes books part of a healthy childhood through support for Reach Out and Read programs across Washington.  We are part of the national, evidence-based Reach Out and Read Program, now in its 21st year.