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News from Reach Out and Read Washington State
In This Issue
Congress Extends Funding for Children's Health Insurance and Home Visiting
Legislative Session Nears End of Schedule
Reach Out and Read Expands in Pend Oreille County
Give Big May 5th
Reach Out and Read Washington State on Facebook
About Reach Out and Read Washington State
Support Reach Out and Read in Washington
April 2015


"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together."

--Vincent van Gogh


The extremely warm winter we experienced had a down side--the fields of Skagit Valley were almost completely done blooming mid-way through the April Tulip Festival. But we had the good fortune to discover there was one field still in bloom last week. As a parent it was heartwarming to have our 18-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter both enjoy the family outing! I think that speaks to the amazing beauty of these flowers in mass. Year after year it takes my breath away, and makes me smile. Sunshine, beautiful flowers, and snowcapped mountains all together. Could we live in a more beautiful place?


Walking through the display gardens at Roozengaarde after viewing the big field enabled us to see all varieties of tulips up close. Each individual tulip is exquisite and unique--from the traditional Darwin hybrid, to the feather-edged "fringed," to the ruffled "parrot," to the pointy "lily," to the "peony-like" double tulips. But taken together, in large plantings with different colors side by side in the garden, or in the field where the massive stripes of color look like a giant quilt, the impact is striking in a different way. Single, in groups, and in mass, it is all beautiful. And all here because of a family that emigrated to Washington from Holland in 1947.


In similar ways, our actions as individuals and collectively matter, especially when it comes to the future of our children. We must promote healthy development, prevent children's exposure to adverse early experiences, and mitigate the impact when traumatic events do happen. Primary health care provides an opportunity to partner with others to support families in this way. Please register to join us for a breakfast symposium Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Primary Care just prior to the Thrive Washington Leadership Luncheon on May 15th.


Right now we are all focused on funding and budget processes, particularly at the state level. This is extremely important. But actions at the federal, state, community, and individual level all make a difference, and all must work together. In this newsletter we highlight an example of how each level impacts Reach Out and Read's ability to support families with young children.


We hope you'll read on, and then take action: Thank your members of Congress, ask state legislators to fund Reach Out and Read, think about what your community might do to support programs, and make a donation via Give Big! Together we can weave a system that enables all children to be the unique people they are meant to be, as part of the bigger beautiful picture we can only see when we step back for a wider view.


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




United States Senate Floor

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 supports young children and families. In the midst of gridlock in Washington, D.C., a Medicare "fix" proved to be the vehicle to assure some important programs for young children and families continue. 

According to CLASP, the bill includes "a two-year extension of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides affordable health insurance to 8 million low-income children. The passage of H.R. 2 is particularly important for children's health because without additional funds the current funding will expire at the end of September, putting millions of children at risk of losing their health insurance." The bill also provides a two-year extension of the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

Because Reach Out and Read is embedded in the health care setting, children's access to insurance is vital to their ability to receive comprehensive care, including Reach Out and Read. Matthew Melmed, Executive Director of ZERO TO THREE, notes that "MIECHV's passage, together with the extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program, shows that investment in young children continues to be a bipartisan issue in both the House and the Senate - a rare feat these days." Read the full ZERO TO THREE Statement to learn more, and thank your members of Congress! 




Uncertainty is the only thing we know. Washington's legislative session has a fixed end-date, which this year is April 26, 2015. If the legislature has not finished its work, including passing the budgets, the Governor will have to call a special session.

The good news is that funding for early learning is prominent in all budgets proposed to date; the challenge is the amount and focus varies across the budgets. Reach Out and Read appreciates the increased funding included in the Senate's proposal, and is hopeful that the final budget will include the additional funding needed to sustain existing services which support over 100,000 children and families.

Please continue to urge your legislators to invest in early learning, including increased funding for Reach Out and Read.





Northeast Washington community partners with doctors to support early literacy. Read "Newport Hospital begins early reading program" in The Miner newspaper. "Dr. Geoff Jones said that as a physician, to get to the root cause of many of the community's problem, he needs to promote reading and talking to kids in the first three years of life, and emphasize preschool and advocate for all-day kindergarten."


Reach Out and Read partnered with the Inland Northwest Early Learning Alliance to launch the first Reach Out and Read programs in the tri-county areas of Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille in 2010. Thanks to sponsorship from the Newport Hospital and Health Services Foundation for two additional Newport clinics, there are now six medical practices in the region assuring that young children have books, and families have the support and skills to support early language development at home. We challenge other hospitals and communities to consider how they might help expand and sustain Reach Out and Read programs. 





Support Families through Reach Out and Read. The Seattle Foundation's annual one-day giving event, GiveBIG is coming up on May 5 from midnight to midnight (Pacific Time). You can set a young child on a path to success, by making a donation to Reach Out and Read Washington State using this link. A portion of your gift will be matched that day only, so make your dollars count! No matter what amount you give, it will make a difference for kids. Cinco de Mayo is the day to support kids in 2015!  




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Follow Reach Out and Read Washington State on Facebook for early literacy news, reading tips, and brain research information. Please LIKE us and suggest our Facebook page to your friends to help 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 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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Telephone - 206-524-3579
Fax - 206-524-4768  

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