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News from Reach Out and Read Washington State
In This Issue
Special Session Adjourns
Give Big on May 2nd
Reach Out and Read 2012 Video
Follow Us on Facebook
About Us
Support Reach Out and Read in Washington

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April 2012



SINE DIE: without any future date being designated (as for resumption): indefinitely <the meeting adjourned sine die> 

- Merriam Webster


The 2012 2nd Special Session of the Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die on April 11, 2012! Hoping that the Legislature had passed a budget, I tuned into around 7 am on Wednesday. The 1st Special session of 2012 was scheduled to end at midnight on 4/10, and when I went to bed, it wasn't clear what would happen. As you probably know, the Governor declared a 2nd Special Session to start immediately, and so lawmakers continued to work through the night. As I tuned in the final House actions were streaming live, and votes were being held quickly on bills. 


My 14-year-old and 11-year old both joined me to watch the live votes prior to leaving for school, and it was such a cool thing to be able to view together. They both went to Olympia in 4th grade with their classes, but hadn't seen a live vote. Watching Speaker Pro Tempore Representative Jim Moeller rapidly move through parliamentary procedures, despite being 22 hours into this "day," was fascinating. When the last votes were taken, and they received a note from the Senate indicating they were done, they adjourned. They let out a collective cheer. I spontaneously cheered with them, and was surprised to find myself choked up a bit. I'm sure it was part relief; this session is finally over (even though I didn't know the outcome for our funding). But it was also a sense of awe-of the power of democracy, of the institutions that this country has nurtured over time, and of the tremendous hard work that so many put into this marathon of legislative sessions. So many procedural traditions remain constant over time, yet many of the issues this session could never have been imagined in 1889 when Washington became a state.


Never before has it been so clear how vital it is for the public and private sectors to work together on behalf of early learning. The end of session gives us a moment to catch our breath, but the important work with children and families goes on year round. Every day children are being born, and their brains are literally being shaped by their current relationships and circumstances. Children can't wait. We must continue to do better by them. 


The heart of Reach Out and Read's work is supporting doctors and clinics, so that they can support children and families.  We do this so that these little folks can grow up great readers, and future citizens, participating in the political process that can continue to improve our society and our lives. Before today I didn't know the definition of sine die, but I now know this Latin phrase has been in use since 1607, and that we can hear the pronunciation online!  So I will sign off this newsletter sine die-- without a specific date for the next one.  But there will be a next one in May, and we look forward to sharing it with you.


As spring arrives, and the animal world welcomes little ones, and the tulips are blooming, we hope you have time to pause, smile and give thanks for what is good. And as you then role up your sleeves to continue the work ahead, we thank you for your support of the littlest human beings and their families. Their future is ours, and together we can make it sunny. Please read on to learn the outcome of the Session for Reach Out and Read, and to learn how you can help us put more books in the hands of children across the state. 

Jill Sells, MD and the Reach Out and Read Washington Team
....because Reading Is Doctor-Recommended 



Washington State Capital 

Budget spares K-12 and Higher Education, and largely protects Early Learning. Despite another large budget deficit, the plan approved this week will not cut Washington's public preschool (the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program), home visiting, Child Care Resources and Referral, Reach Out and Read or WaKIDS. In fact there is an increased investment in WaKIDS, and some restoration of funding for child care for low-income families, but this is tempered by administrative reductions to the Department of Early Learning which are not easy to absorb. Overall the budget should help Washington maintain the momentum it built by winning a Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant. At the same time, we are pleased that the Legislature was able to preserve many important investments in health, education and the safety net which are vital for the future of children in our state.


Reach Out and Read retained our funding!  This was especially significant since it had been proposed for complete elimination last fall in the Governor's budget. There is a temporary switch to federal funds in this biennial budget,  and we would prefer to see state investment in early learning. However, we appreciate the opportunity to continue funding during these difficult times. We would like to thank the legislators who sent letters of support for Reach Out and Read's funding to House and Senate budget leaders: Senators Nelson, Litzow, Frockt, Kohl-Welles, Rolfes, Harper, Kline, King and Conway; and Representatives Goodman, Pettigrew, Maxwell, Orwall, Roberts, Kenney, Pollet, Wylie, Billig, Kagi, Lytton and Haigh. We know that other legislators actively supported Reach Out and Read who may not have had the chance to sign these letters, and we thank them as well. And a very special thank you to all who contacted legislators about Reach Out and Read, it made a difference!  


For a more detailed overview of the budget from an Early Learning perspective, check out today's (April 13) newsletter from United Ways of Washington.



Give Big 2012 

Please join in, and support Reach Out and Read.  GiveBIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live. Each donation made to the more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations profiled on The Seattle Foundation's website on May 2, 2012 until midnight (Pacific Time) will receive a pro-rated portion of the matching funds (or "stretch") pool. The amount of the "stretch" depends on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day. Mark your calendar for May 2nd, and please go to Reach Out and Read page at the Seattle Foundation and your donation will be worth even more than you contribute! You can also search for us at the Seattle Foundation and we'll post links on our Facebook page and website.



2012 Reach Out and Read Video
This five-minute video shows clips from founding pediatricians, pediatric experts, CEO Earl Martin Phalen, and children and families Reach Out and Read serves.


Find us on Facebook


Reach Out and Read Washington State is on Facebook.  Please LIKE us.  If you could also suggest our Facebook page to your friends, that would go a long way in helping us spread our message about early literacy - thanks! 


Reach Out and Read helps prepare children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  Our evidence-based, proven program leverages the volunteer time of doctors to make literacy a standard part of well-child visits. Reach Out and Read supports parents as their child's first teacher. Through 132 programs in 29 counties, over 800 medical providers serve more than 81,000 children and families.

Founded in 2007, Reach Out and Read Washington State supports programs across the state.  We are part of the national, evidence-based Reach Out and Read Program, founded in 1989.


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Telephone - 206-524-3579
Fax - 206-524-4768

Address - 155 NE 100th Street - Suite 301, Seattle WA 98125