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News from Reach Out and Read Washington State
In This Issue
Honoring a Champion for Children
Legislature Crafting Budgets for the Future
Reach Out and Read Washington State on Facebook
About Reach Out and Read Washington State
Support Reach Out and Read in Washington
March 2015


There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.

--Ansel Adams


I discovered Ansel Adams when I was in college. His photographs still amaze me, especially after many trips with my family to national parks over the ensuing years. But until today I had not seen this quote, and I love it. What a unique way of thinking about pictures of beautiful landscapes with no people in them! Perspective--it means everything.


Even those of us who love words know that a "picture is worth a thousand words." And a video is worth many times that. It conveys a three-dimensional view of the world complete with sound and a sense of "being there," whether or not it tells the whole story. And while there are many videos creating news and important discussions around equity right now--as they should--I'm going to focus a bit differently in this newsletter.


I'm going to ask you to watch one video--it's only 90 seconds.

And I'd like you to look at one picture--you'll recognize where it is.


As you do so I hope you'll gain a deeper understanding of the power of Reach Out and Read, and of legislators, to support families as they lead the way to improve outcomes for children across our state.


As the viewer, what do you see and feel and understand? And, more importantly, what will you do?


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




Dr. Mary Ann Woodruff is the kind of pediatrician all families hope to have for their child. We are so pleased that KBTC Public Television is helping us honor her as an American Graduate Champion. Please watch this 90 second video that captures the essence of the Reach Out and Read program through a visit to Dr. Woodruff's office.

And if you have another 90 seconds, watch it again. Notice the words "love" and "bond with your kids." Watch the math skills being developed through counting. Watch the intense concentration, joy, and excitement on the faces of the children. And see the power of the relationship each has with her parents, and with Dr. Woodruff.

With support through the legislature, this type of interaction will happen over 200,000 times in the coming year, in 179 medical clinics across the state. Try to picture that!




House budget expected Friday, Senate's to follow. All signs point toward a challenging time ahead before a final budget hits the Governor's desk. But early signs point strongly toward increased investments in early learning--and that is very exciting. It means that policy is beginning to follow what the research says must be done, and when that is coupled with funding, practices will change and families will benefit.

As legislators debate details around the Early Start bill, they also have an opportunity to include funding for Reach Out and Read at $500,000/year in the budget. This is an increase from the past--but it's needed because seven streams of federal funding have disappeared (really!), at the same time as the program has grown exponentially. But even this increased amount is only $5 per child per year--to help create those powerful encounters you just watched; through a program that's proven to work. 100,000 children and their families. That's the current impact. We must not go backward.


As legislators go about their very difficult tasks, I hope they noticed the beautiful flowers blooming around the capitol. Just as we witness the annual cycle of plant life, this legislative cycle is the time to invest in the new lives that hold our future in their hands. Tell your legislators to invest in early learning.




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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 179 programs in 31 counties, 1,500 medical providers serve an estimated 100,000 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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Address - 155 NE 100th Street - Suite 301, Seattle WA 98125