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News from Reach Out and Read Washington State
In This Issue
Starting Strong P-3 Institute
Reach Out and Read --New Day Northwest Campaign
Early Learning State and Local Coordination Project
Follow Us on Facebook
About Us
Support Reach Out and Read in Washington

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JULY 2012


Harmony, balance, rhythm. There you have it. 

That's what life is all about.

George Pocock


I heard this quote for the first time while participating in a Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute this spring, since one of my small-group partners is the Executive Director of the Pocock Rowing Center.  The four of us had fun comparing the challenges of running a nonprofit organization with the challenges of getting a group of rowers to work together to keep a very small boat smoothly moving in the desired direction. I had a more personal connection to this as well, as I somewhat secretly harbored the desire to get out and row again, and was pretty sure I was going to have to wait until my kids graduated, and then hope I wasn't feeling too old to try it!  In college many moons ago I walked onto the crew team.  I had grown up a swimmer in Seattle, and had always wanted to try rowing. So somehow I decided to try it at age 18, while transitioning to everything else new about college away from home. While I only rowed for 6 months, I really enjoyed being on the water and being part of a team. 


While it took me a few months to explore the logistics of doing this, I have now been rowing for two weeks. I am having a great time learning to scull (2 oars per person, rather than the larger single oar that we used in sweep/college rowing) in boats of 2-4 people near the University of Washington. Before my kids are up, and while early morning commuters are already driving above our heads, we are moving across water that glistens in the morning sunlight. It is fascinating and fun to learn different positions in the shell (boat); when to lead, when to follow, and how to work with people you've never met who range from 19-70 years old.  Yesterday morning was particularly spectacular--beautiful sunshine, calm water, and intermittent times of flying in "harmony, balance and rhythm" with my new friend, another working mom of teen-agers.  (And, as this very small world of ours would have it, it turns out that her daughter is a volunteer reader in one of our Reach Out and Read programs!) Getting outside, exercising, and being without a watch or a cell phone (for 2 hours), while taking in the peace and beauty of the water, trees, mountains, and birds is so amazing.  As I feel muscles I haven't used in a while, it clears my mind, and my spirit, and enables me to come back refreshed to tackle the new challenges of my day.


My hope is that you find time to enjoy the summer, and the beautiful outdoors of this great state we are so fortunate to call home.  And of course please grab some great reads for yourself, and the children in your life! Then, together, we can continue to move this ship of ours forward to do what is right for children and families.


Happy summer!


Jill Sells, MD and the Reach Out and Read Washington Team 




The fourth annual Starting Strong P-3 Institute will bring together early learning professionals and K-12 educators to talk about innovative ways to align systems. We are excited that Dr. Jill Sells, Reach Out and Read Washington State Executive Director; MaryJo Christenson, Early Childhood Outreach Coordinator, Anacortes School District; and Dr. Nicole Castonguay, Reach Out and Read pediatrician from The Vancouver Clinic will be presenting at the Starting Strong conference on August 14th in Vancouver, Washington. 


Their session is called Community Partnerships for Literacy Alignment from Birth through 3rd Grade: A Reach Out and Read Approach. Participants will learn about Reach Out and Read across Washington state, and the Anacortes experience with Birth through 3rd grade literacy alignment. They'll leave with concrete ideas about working with doctors to better support parents of the youngest children in their own communities, and understand how doing so aligns with existing Preschool-3rd grade and literacy efforts. We hope to see you there!



We have a unique opportunity to raise awareness about early literacy and support for Reach Out and Read this fall.
We are excited to be working with Margaret Larson, host of
New Day Northwest on King5 TV.  We'll run four Reach Out and Read TV segments in September and October, with numerous ways to engage a live-audience, TV viewers, and an active social media community. Viewers will learn about Reach Out and Read from doctors implementing the program, including features about military families and children with disabilities. Stay tuned for more information! We also have some great sponsorship opportunities. Please contact us for more information. 



DEL Logo 

Share your input on how state and local groups work together on behalf of children. The Department of Early Learning, in collaboration with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Thrive by Five Washington (Thrive), has started the Washington Early Learning State and Local Coordination Project.


This project is meant to strengthen how different parts of the state's early learning system--state agencies, regional collaborative efforts, K-12 education and child care providers--work together to support children in Washington. Since February, the project conducted community research to better understand barriers to a strong early learning system, opportunities for improving it, and promising practices from other states. Their findings to date are summarized here. They now want your input! Click here to learn more and take a brief survey, which closes 7/31/12.


Reach Out and Read Washington is a great example of a strong program that aligns and partners with state level organizations and policies.  At the same time, our services to children and families occur within medical offices within local communities.  We witness the challenges and opportunities of state-local coordination work each day. Our medical providers and partners have unique views to share with this process, and we encourage you to participate. 


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 134 programs in 29 counties, almost 900 medical providers serve an estimated 83,000 children and families.

Founded by pediatricians 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.


Email -

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

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