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News from Reach Out and Read Washington State
In This Issue
State Legislature Supports Reach Out and Read
Tacoma Pediatrician Honored as Early Learning Champion
Reach Out and Read Celebrates 25th Birthday!
Tulalip Cares Supports Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read Washington State on Facebook
About Reach Out and Read Washington State
Support Reach Out and Read in Washington
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Reach Out and Read programs!  
March 2014

"The greatest threat to our national security comes from no foreign enemy but from our own failure to invest in healthy and educated children."

--Marian Wright Edelman


It is somewhat surreal to watch what is happening in Crimea, on the heels of a fairly uneventful Olympics hosted by Russia. How the world could so quickly go from one to the other is mind-boggling. As a pediatrician in the Puget Sound area, I have cared for many children in Russian and Ukrainian families. Stresses are surfacing locally now, as they watch what is happening in their homelands. Combine this with the long search for the missing Malaysian airliner, built by Boeing, and it becomes clear just how complicated foreign policy and diplomacy can be. These two examples demonstrate how things happening around the world are closely connected with things right here in Washington. And they both remind us how people in all cultures care deeply about many of the same things--particularly the well-being of those they love.


At the same time, the evidence is unequivocal that what we do--or don't do--to invest in our children has significant ramifications for our future, and that of the world. So I love that Marian Wright Edelman puts what should be obvious--but often is not--right in front of us. We must invest in healthy and educated children, everywhere.


The good news is that there is some progress. There is growing attention, and incremental increases in investment, to address the needs of young children at the state and national levels. We are pleased to have secured a little more funding for Reach Out and Read in Washington's state budget. We are also happy to share with you some awards and celebrations. It's always important to celebrate success along the way; progress in complicated issues takes time and energy. But we must also quickly roll up our sleeves and keep moving forward. Current outcomes for children in Washington clearly tell us that we have a long way to go, and children need action now!


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






Increase in funding helps offset ending of federal grant. We are grateful to the Washington State Legislature for an additional $50,000 for the Department of Early Learning's work with Reach Out and Read. This contract formalizes our connection with the Washington State Early Learning Plan, which continues to prioritize early language development and literacy skills. Reach Out and Read is the core state strategy to increase use of research-based early literacy programs and practices by parents, families, caregivers and early learning professionals.


We say a special thank you to key advocates in the legislature this session: Senators Andy Billig, David Frockt, and Steve Litzow; and Representatives Maureen Walsh and Jessyn FarrellReach Out and Read's work with parents and very young children has bipartisan and bicameral support, reflecting the importance of the program to kindergarten readiness, and educational outcomes across the state.


"It is easy to advocate for Reach Out and Read because the record of success is so clear," said Senator Andy Billig of Spokane. "We know that these early investments pay big dividends in the future and I was pleased that the Legislature provided additional funding in the 2014 supplemental operating budget for this worthwhile program." 




First 5 Fundamentals surprises Dr. Mary Ann Woodruff. We were delighted when pediatrician extraordinaire and Reach Out and Read champion Dr. Woodruff was surprised by First 5 with this honor at a Pierce County Library Foundation meeting. A long-time Library Foundation Board member, Dr. Woodruff is also Reach Out and Read Washington's Medical Director.


"My work with Reach Out and Read dovetails perfectly with my involvement with our local library system," said Dr. Woodruff. "Perhaps best is the opportunity to work with professionals in other fields who have the same goals in mind of helping families of young children. The collaborations have been invigorating and productive."


We celebrate this award to an unsung hero--knowing that the children of Tacoma, Pierce County, and the entire state have benefited so much from Dr. Woodruff's passion and hard work for more than 20 years.




Innovative and effective, Reach Out and Read stands the test of time. In celebration of this major milestone, we revealed this original birthday illustration created by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds.  

Looking for a special way to honor a friend or family member? How about becoming a Reach Out and Read "Book Buddy?" Your monthly donation offers an easy way to share the gift of reading with children in need every month of the year. Say Happy Birthday to Reach Out and Read in this very meaningful way. Donate now!




Thank you, Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund. Reach Out and Read has been pleased to grow our partnerships with health clinics serving tribal communities over many years. We now have 16 tribal clinics participating in Reach Out and Read across the state!


This month we are grateful to the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund for their donation of $6,000. Thank you for making it possible for more children living in low income Washington families to receive books and benefit Reach Out and Read services.




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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 influence of children's doctors and makes literacy a standard part of well-child checkups from ages 6 months through 5 years. Reach Out and Read supports parents as their child's first teacher and helps children be ready for kindergarten. 


Through 165 programs in 31 counties, 1,400 medical providers serve an estimated 94,000 children and their families across Washington. Reach Out and Read Washington State is a Regional Office of Reach Out and Read, Inc., a national not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.



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

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