On Sept. 21, Reach Out and Read (ROR) Wisconsin was honored by State Superintendent Tony Evers with a Friend of Education award. This award was presented during the annual State of Education address. ROR Wisconsin was one of five organizations or individuals recognized for making outstanding contributions to children in Wisconsin.
ROR Wisconsin’s goal is to prepare all children for kindergarten by emphasizing early literacy during the first five years of life. Research shows 95 percent of brain development happens before age 6. ROR capitalizes on this by partnering with clinicians to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
Part of ROR Wisconsin’s success is due to the cost effectiveness and scalability of the evidenced-based model. Two other factors that have also contributed to the success are founding project manager, Karin Mahony, MEd, MSW and medical director, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD. Both have worked tirelessly to promote and implement the program to more than 200 clinics throughout the state. ROR Wisconsin now touches the lives of 20 percent of children younger than age 6.
Mahony, who accepted the award on behalf of ROR Wisconsin, said the award, “… speaks to a greater understanding that success in school has its underpinnings in supporting parents as their child’s first teacher.” She is also hopeful that the recognition will increase the awareness of ROR’s work in the state.
ROR Wisconsin staff continue to work with our clinics to support the highest quality early literacy promotion throughout the state. By 2020, ROR Wisconsin hopes to reach 30 percent of Wisconsin kids younger than age 6.