Reach Out and Read Wisconsin Advisory Council Member spotlight: Family Physician Wendy Molaska, MD, FAAFP

The Reach Out and Read (ROR) Wisconsin Advisory Council is made up of 14 individuals from across the state who support our early literacy work. The Advisory Council includes, doctors, community leaders and business owners. These members all have a connection to and passion for literacy and the lifelong benefits programs like ROR provide. For a full list of our advisory council members, visit our website.  

Our first member spotlight is one of our Advisory Council co-chairs, Wendy Molaska. Wendy is a family physician who has served on our council since ROR Wisconsin started in 2010. Prior to joining the Advisory Council, Wendy used ROR during her residency. She continues to use the program today as the ROR medical consultant for UW Health Cottage Grove. Now a mother of two, Wendy tries to find time every day to read aloud with her kids.

Mom reading with two childrendoctor dressed up as cat in the hat

What is your background?

I am a family medicine physician working in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. Originally from Wisconsin, I went to undergrad and medical school at the University of Wisconsin. I was first introduced to ROR when I started residency at the University of Minnesota working in an underserved inner-city clinic. When I moved to rural Colorado, my clinic there did not have a ROR program so I started a program. I then moved back to rural Wisconsin and again my clinic did not have a ROR program. By now, I couldn’t imagine practicing without the program, so I did all the fundraising myself and started yet another ROR program at my clinic in Platteville. Shortly after I started my program ROR Wisconsin started and I was honored to be asked to join the Advisory Council.

What are your favorite or funniest memories about reading as a child?

My dad would often read my brother and I bedtime stories. But before he started the book he would always tell his own version of a fairy tale. So we listened to Mac and the Cornstalk and Little Red Riding Hood. Except that in his version, Little Red Riding Hood was crossing the road and ‘Vrooom!’ a big Mack truck came and ran her over and that’s the end of the story! Then my brother and I would yell and complain say, “Daaad! That’s not a real story!” So then he’d be forced to read our book of the night.

If you have children, do you read aloud with them? How did you incorporate reading into your routine?

I have two young children and am a proud Reach Out and Read mama, as my kids love to read! We started reading to them as soon as they were born. We read before naps and bedtimes every day and whenever the kids want to read. They will often grab books during play times and bring them over to us to read. We went through periods where the kids would choose the same book over and over so I can still recite verbatim some of those books. Now they love to go to the library to pick out new books which means I get to read more variety. And it certainly is fun for the kids when they make me read The Book With No Pictures. “Glug, glug, glug, my face is a bug! I eat ants for breakfast right off the rug!

young girl reading and sleeping in the carpicture of young boy reading in the car and sleeping

How did you get involved with literacy promotion? Why is it important to you?

I first became involved with literacy promotion through the ROR program in residency. My residency clinic was an inner city clinic and the patient population faced a lot of adversity. It was also a diverse patient population with Spanish, Hmong and Somali languages being common, in addition to English. During that time I saw how important books were for the patients. I also learned how important it was to discuss how to use books in the home as many parents did not have confidence in their own reading abilities but did want their children to do well in school. It was in stark contrast to how I grew up, as I was surrounded by books and loved going to the Book Mobile to pick out new books. The joke among my relatives was that my nickname was “Nose-in-a-book” and they didn’t know what I looked like because my face was always stuck in a book. This helped propel me to want to share the magic of books with others.

What advice would you give parents about reading?

The most important thing I talk about with parents in my clinic is that reading is not just about actually reading the words on the page. This is especially true with young children. The most important part of reading is spending the time together enjoying each other’s company and enjoying books. That can mean making up stories based on the pictures, using the pictures to play ‘I spy’ or even just having the child point to different things on the page.

I also emphasize that toddlers have short attention spans so even if they only seem to sit and pay attention for a minute or two that is actually great.

For older kids, I discuss with parents that reading can entail all kinds of different options. As kids develop their own interests, reading can be tailored to those interests. If that means comic books, non-fiction, magazines or video game manuals – it still counts as reading!

Lastly, I encourage parents to lead by example whenever they can. Being able to see a parent reading is important to showing children that reading is important all throughout our lives!

young children reading together

What is your favorite children’s book? Why?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many great children’s books! I love Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boyton just because who wouldn’t love hippos going berserk!

Hippos_go_berserk book cover

I love The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Any of his books are great, even if many are tongue twisters! But The Lorax has such a great underlying message about taking care of the earth that it is timeless.

the lorax book cover

And I love The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak because it makes my kids giggle when mom has to say “My best friend is a hippo named boo-boo butt!”

the book with no pictures book cover

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

A book I will never tire of and have read more than a dozen times,A Girl in the Limberlost book cover is A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter. This is more of a young adult book but the way it is written brings the imagery to life.

 

 

 

 

 

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is how I imagine I would write if I wrote a novel, eat_pray_love book coverpoints in time, often centuries apart. and I could intimately relate to this book. My current favorite authors are Ken Follett as I love historical fiction and his long tomes span many years really drawing you into the lives of his characters. Kate Morton’s books are also outstanding. She has a unique way of weaving her stories together using perspectives from different

 

 

Lastly, I will recommend Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Being mortal book coverby Atul Gwande. Most people don’t really understand what can happen at the end of life and this book really can provide perspective on what this can look like. As I always encourage my patients to have these difficult end-of-life discussions with their family and friends, this book helps the reader understand why these difficult conversations are important. Reading is the generally the last thing I do as I wind down my days.

 

And lucky for me, my ‘to read list’ continues to grow and grow.

Appleton Ready to Read: Outreach program brings early literacy to Hmong and Hispanic families

Appleton Ready to Read banner

Appleton Ready to Read (ARTR) is an outreach program for Hmong and Hispanic families with children ages birth to five. The program is based on the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read initiative, which provides strategies that caregivers can use to develop children’s early literacy skills.

ARTR was created as a result of the Leading Indicator for Excellence (LIFE) study conducted by  United Way of Fox Cities. In 2011, the LIFE study found that third grade reading scores had declined every year since 2006. Among those with declining reading scores, 36% were Asian (predominately Hmong) and 38% were English language learners (ELL) who were predominately Hispanic. Since library staff and community leaders knew literacy skills develop earlier than third grade, they decided to target Hmong and Hispanic families with children age birth to 5.  

A Hmong family outreach specialist, Pa Ja Yang, and a Hispanic family outreach specialist, Norma Oliveras, were hired to work closely with local families. Their positions were originally funded through a grant from United Way of Fox Cities but they are now funded through the City of Appleton. Pa Ja and Norma educate families on the importance of building early literacy skills through five practices: reading, writing, singing, talking, and playing. ARTR’s goal is to better prepare Hmong and Hispanic children for kindergarten and school success. There are three components to the program

1. Home Visit:

Specialists meet with families in their homes to provide free books and educational information on reading, writing, and children’s brain development.

2. Library Visit:

Specialists meet with families at the library to discuss library services, programs, and resources. Families receive a tour of the children’s section, music CDs and information on the benefits of singing and talking with their children.

3. Participation in Play & Learn:

Families attend a children’s program called Play & Learn. Specialists incorporate early literacy skills and the five practices to discuss the importance of dramatic and imaginary play, as well as narrative skills.  

Pa Ja Yang, Hmong Family Outreach Specialist
Pa Ja Yang, Hmong Family Outreach Specialist
Norma Oliveras, Hispanic Outreach Specialist
Norma Oliveras, Hispanic Outreach Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The success of ARTR would not be possible without community partnerships, in-kind contributions from local businesses and continuous support from the city. Community partnerships include the Appleton Area School District, Outagamie Birth to Five Intervention, UW-Oshkosh Head Start, Fox Valley Literacy Council and a variety of other organizations. Contributions from Bouwer Family Foundation and Bob’s Discount Furniture have provided new literature, music CDs and coloring books for families. Since 2014, Pa Ja and Norma have served more than 230 Hmong and Hispanic families.

Play & Learn: Hispanic Edition is offered on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. at the Appleton Public Library and Play & Learn: Hmong Edition from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Visit the Appleton Public Library’s classes and events calendar for upcoming classes and updated information.

Looking for Hmong family resources near you? Check out some of these other websites:

Madison: http://hmongmadison.com/

La Crosse: www.ciasiabinc.org  

Milwaukee: http://www.hawamke.org/

Hmong National Development, Inc.: www.hndinc.org

Appleton public library ready to readAppleton Ready to Read programAppleton Public library ready to read program Appleton Ready to read

New research links talking to babies with their IQ and verbal abilities 10 years later

By: Steve Hannon, president, LENA

LENA president Steve Hannon
LENA president Steve Hannon

We’re excited to share the results of a newly-published longitudinal study that researchers here at LENA have been working on for more than 10 years. The findings confirm that the amount of talk with adults that babies experience in the first three years of life is related to their verbal abilities and IQ in adolescence. Two-way conversations in the 18- to 24-month age range may be particularly important.

The paper, “Language Experience in the Second Year of Life and Language Outcomes in Late Childhood,” was published in the October 2018 edition of Pediatrics. Its conclusions affirm exactly the kind of work Reach Out and Read (ROR) is doing to educate families about the importance of early interaction and providing them with the tools to build early literacy.

“By showing that parent-child verbal interactions in early childhood predict critically important outcomes through age 14 years (∼10 years later), the authors of this study have made a major contribution to this topic, with strong implications for American Academy of Pediatrics policy and clinical practice recommendations,” Drs. Perri Klass, ROR’s medical director, and Dr. Alan L. Mendelsohn, ROR’s principal investigator, wrote in commentary for Pediatrics.

LENA photo of mom and baby and young boy in school

While it may seem intuitive that adults should talk with children, many people don’t realize just how important conversations actually are.   

For example, two other studies this year from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have shown that the amount of conversation children experience is related to changes in their brain structure and function. Additionally, other studies have indicated that language exposure is related to children’s brain processing speed, subsequent vocabulary acquisition and success transitioning to kindergarten.

Research also tells us that adults who talk with children the least tend to overestimate the most. That’s why LENA technology, which provides objective feedback, is a helpful tool. In the same way a pedometer provides objective feedback on how many steps you take each day, LENA helps caregivers get an accurate understanding of children’s language environments and identifies specific areas for growth.

To truly improve outcomes for children and make progress toward closing opportunity gaps, we must capitalize on the power of conversation to build babies’ brains.

If you’re interested in learning more about this important research, sign up to view a discussion with the lead researchers moderated by policy expert Shannon Rudisill. Click here for more information and to register.

There’s still time to support Reach Out and Read Wisconsin’s Advisory Council learning and fundraising event

Last weekend, Reach Out and Read (ROR) Wisconsin’s Advisory Council hosted a learning and fundraising event at 702WI, a creative space in Madison, Wisconsin. ROR Wisconsin donors and guests gathered to learn about the program’s impact on early literacy, clinical care and parent support. Together, they raised hundreds of dollars to keep ROR Wisconsin programming strong throughout the state.

ROR Wisconsin learning and fundraising event
ROR Wisconsin supporters gather to learn more about our work and how they can help

During the event, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, ROR Wisconsin medical director and Dennis Winters, MS, chief economist for the State of Wisconsin, gave a presentation about the link between high-quality, early interventions like ROR and future economic benefits to the community. For example, every dollar invested in early interventions yields a $7 return on investment to society (Heckman, 2012). Investing in early interventions have shared benefits across sectors. Not only is personal success impacted with better employment opportunities and improved health outcomes but communities as a whole see lower crime rates, less social intervention and higher civil contributions. The business community also sees long-term benefits with a more skilled workforce, higher worker productivity and less employee turnover. To learn more about ROR Wisconsin and our impact please visit our website.

Dipesh Navsaria presents at learning and fundraising event
Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, ROR Wisconsin Medical Director presents to ROR Wisconsin supporters and donors

If you were unable to attend this event, you can still support ROR Wisconsin. Please click here to make a donation today. A gift of just $5 will help provide a local child with a new book and parental support.

Thank you to the in-kind donors who made this event possible: Mary Morgan for the event space, Johnson Public House for coffee and Madison Chocolate Company for chocolates and other treats. 

If you would like to receive an invitation to the next ROR Wisconsin event, please email Alex Rogers.

Heckman, J. J. (December 2012). Invest in early childhood development: Reduce deficits, strengthen the economy. Retrieved from: https://heckmanequation.org/assets/2013/07/F_HeckmanDeficitPieceCUSTOM-Generic_052714-3-1.pdf

To our clinics, providers and families affected by last month’s storms, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin is thinking of you

Dear Reach Out and Read Wisconsin family,
 
On behalf of the Reach Out and Read Wisconsin team, I am sending thoughts to everyone in the state dealing with the aftermath of the unprecedented storms in August and September.
 
We have been thinking of you and your communities throughout the last month as we heard of torrential rains, floods, road washouts, mudslides, evacuations, sheer winds and tornadoes in multiple areas of the state. We know that several of our participating clinics were flooded, along with their entire towns. Superficial cleanup has been astounding, but real recovery will take time.
 
Perhaps, now, you have a few extra moments to let us know your situation and needs:

  • Were your clinics damaged?
  • Did you lose book inventory?
  • Do you have many families who lost homes, including all the books in their homes?
  • Will your usual book funding sources be diverted to emergency relief efforts?
  • How are the children in your community faring?
    • We know of at least one school system that delayed the start of school – acknowledging that the children were too traumatized by loss of homes and sense of normalcy to focus on academics.

Please remind your families that books not only build better brains, they build better bonds. Sharing stories, even without a book in hand, develops and reinforces strong, comforting, nurturing parent-child relationships. These relationships act as protective shields for children living through natural disaster.
 
Reach Out and Read Wisconsin functions on an extremely tight budget. However, what we lack in a financial cushion, we make up for in the strength of our collaborative network, interest in sharing your stories and unstoppable, creative, problem-solving energies.
 
Please tell us of your needs and/or send pictures if possible. We may be able to offer some assistance.
 
Here’s wishing for a month of clearer skies.
 
Karin Mahony and the Reach Out and Read Wisconsin team

graphic of books

Reach Out and Read Wisconsin Learning and Fundraising event

event invite for Reach Out and Read Wisconsin learning and fundraising event

Come learn about how early literacy builds a baby’s brain infrastructure, as well as economic implications for the well-being of our families, communities, and state.

On Sunday, Oct. 14, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin (ROR) advisory council members are hosting a friendraising and fundraising event. We want to increase awareness about how crucial early language exposure is to a child’s development and the link between high-quality, early intervention and future community economic health.

Join us and bring a friend or neighbor.

Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD founding ROR medical director and Dennis Winters, MS, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will give a short presentation and a Q&A session.

The event space is generously being donated by Mary Morgan at 702 Writer Incubator.

Please RSVP to Michele Erikson by Oct. 12.

Can’t make it to the event but want to learn more about our work and impact? Please contact Alex Rogers. To donate to ROR Wisconsin, please click here.

Celebrate National Child Health Day!

Join Reach Out and Read Wisconsin on Monday, Oct. 1

Reach Out and Read Wisconsin staff with message bubble signs

In 1928, Congress created Child Health Day, a national observance bringing attention to the “fundamental necessity” of children’s health programs.

In the spirit of the first National Child Health Day, Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin is hosting a social media campaign to raise awareness for children’s health. You can show your support for kids by taking a photo and posting on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ForKidsHealth. The individual or organization with the most creative photo will win a $25 gift card! See contest rules at www.chawisconsin.org.

To receive a free #ForKidsHealth message bubble sign, please complete the online request form by Sept. 14. If you would like additional signs for your clinic or partners, please contact ljensen@chw.org.

Thank you for your support and partnership as we work to improve children’s health and literacy in Wisconsin. Please follow Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin on Facebook and Twitter.

We look forward to seeing your photos on Oct. 1!

For Kids Health message bubble

Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin

It may seem like Reach Out and Read (ROR) Wisconsin operates on its own, but we are actually part of a larger policy and advocacy group called the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin (Alliance). The Alliance provides a home for ROR Wisconsin by providing financial, administrative and graphic design support. The Alliance’s goals are to raise awareness for children’s health, mobilize leaders, impact public health and implement programs proven to work. To accomplish this, the Alliance oversees seven initiatives:

  • Asthma
  • Early Literacy (ROR Wisconsin)
  • Emergency Care
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Injury Prevention and Death Review
  • Medical Home
  • Oral Health

These initiatives work together to spread awareness, foster collaboration between key partners, influence legislation and implement effective programs and coalitions that lead to better outcomes for kids across the state. Here are some notable accomplishments from the past year:

Asthma: The Wisconsin Asthma Coalition (WAC) conducts walkthroughs to identify asthma triggers and provide low to no-cost recommendations to reduce or eliminate triggers. This year, Asthma staff completed walkthroughs in 14 schools and 15 child care centers in five different counties. Additionally, staff worked with YoungStar, Wisconsin’s child care quality rating program, to better align their environmental standards with WAC’s guidelines. These efforts, and many others, will continue into the 2018-19 school year.

Wisconsin Asthma Coalition logo

Emergency Medical Services for Children: The Emergency Medical Services for Children Program (EMSC) has partnered with 14 emergency departments to improve their pediatric readiness. Over the next two years, the emergency departments will use a quality improvement frame work to improve pediatric emergency care safety and quality. The following emergency departments are participating:

    • Crossing Rivers Health – Crawford County
    • Memorial Medical Center – Ashland
    • Sauk Prairie Healthcare – Prairie du Sac
    • Southwest Health Center – Platteville
    • Mile Bluff Medical Center – Mauston
    • Divine Savior Healthcare – Portage
    • UnityPoint Health – Meriter – Madison
    • Howard Young Medical Center – Woodruff
    • Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – Franklin Hospital
    • Waupun Memorial Hospital
    • Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center – Walworth
    • Mercyhealth System and Trauma Center – Janesville
    • Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center
    • Marshfield Medical Center
  • EMSC also provided two pediatric specific education sessions for pre-hospital providers in Door and Oneida counties. A total of 46 emergency care providers were trained at the March 24 and May 10 sessions.

Emergency Medical Services for Children logo

 

Infant Death Center: The Infant Death Center (IDC) gave two presentations on addressing the unique bereavement needs of mothers experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. The first presentation was at the southeastern Wisconsin Prenatal Care Coordination Partnership (PNCC), a diverse group of agencies and medical providers who offer the PNCC Medicaid benefit to women in the southeastern portion of Wisconsin. The IDC also presented to a group of home visiting nurses at the Southside Health Center in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Infant Death Center logo

 

Injury Prevention and Death Review: In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Injury Prevention and Death Review staff facilitated the Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin Conference on April 17-18 at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center in Oshkosh. More than 100 local child death review (CDR) and fetal infant mortality review (FIMR) team members attended to explore trends in child death and learn about best practice prevention strategies. The Clark County CDR team was awarded the annual William Perloff Keeping Kids Alive in Wisconsin Award for successfully implementing prevention activities in their community through data collection and death reviews.  

Keeping Kids Alive Logo

Medical Home: Medical homes are characterized by trusting partnerships between families, children and their health care teams. Children who receive care within a medical home may have improved health outcomes and families are more satisfied with such care. The Medical Home initiative works to ensure more Wisconsin children are served within medical homes by guiding, educating, and partnering with health care teams and families. Over the last year, Medical Home staff have completed 18 trainings in 11 counties, reaching 154 attendees, including 51 clinicians. The trainings discussed developmental screening within child well-care, pediatric mental health screening and other key resources.

Medical Home logo

Oral Health: On June 21, 2017, Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 146. This new law allows dental hygienists to practice with fewer restrictions and in more settings including nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers and physicians’ offices. The Oral Health team actively supported the bill in order to expand access to oral services statewide.

Wisconsin Oral Health logo

Reach Out and Read Wisconsin: Over the past year, 20 clinics launched new ROR programs. There are now more than 215 ROR programs in Wisconsin! This growth will continue into 2019 as two health systems, SSM Health Dean Medical Group and ThedaCare Physicians, are planning to make ROR a standard of pediatric care by providing ROR in all of their Wisconsin clinics. They join 10 health systems already implementing ROR within all of their Wisconsin clinics; Access Community Health Centers, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Milwaukee Health Services, NorthLakes Community Clinic, Progressive Community Health Centers, Vernon Memorial Healthcare, UW Health, Watertown Regional Medical Center and Wildwood Family Clinic.

Reach Out and Read Wisconsin logo

The Alliance’s graphic design and communication team supports all of the initiatives’ work with newsletters, conference materials, social media campaigns, promotional items and annual reports. They also manage the Alliance website, which will be getting a major update in the coming months.  

If you would like to support the Alliance’s work to improve children’s health, please visit our website or consider making a donation.

Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin staff at Miller Park
                               The Alliance staff at our annual retreat at Miller Park!

August and September Literacy events

Continue the summer fun and get the kids ready for back to school with these literacy events taking place across Wisconsin. If you don’t see an event in your area, be sure to check out your local library’s website or other local community resources.

August 2018

Date County Name Location Time More information
Aug 1 Fond du Lac Toddler story times Fond du Lac Public Library 32 Sheboygan St. 9:30 a.m. bit.ly/2uRx6Zl
Aug 2 Milwaukee Preschool story time Milwaukee Public Library 814 W Wisconsin St. Milwaukee, WI 10:00 a.m. bit.ly/2uTzT4f
Aug 7 Green Bay Children’s story time at Green Bay Botanical Garden Botanical Garden 2600 Larsen Rd Green Bay, WI 10:00 am bit.ly/2LFwwra This is an ongoing event. Check website for more dates.
Aug 10 Dane Robert Kurson, Rocket Men 702WI 702 E Johnson St. Madison, WI 7:00 pm bit.ly/2LRZdxU
Aug 10 Brown Prevea Read and Play Bay Park Square Mall 303 Bay Sq. Green Bay, WI 9:30 am bit.ly/2sa8dFP
Aug 17 Dane Summer in YOUR City: Kids create at the top of State The Grove, Intersection of W Mifflin and State St. Madison, WI 10:00 am – 1:00 pm bit.ly/2NNw7jJ
Aug 18 Dane Julie Fine, What Should Be Wild 702WI 702 E Johnson St. Madison, WI 11:00 am

 

bit.ly/2mJEzVF

Aug 22 La Crosse Family story time La Crosse Public Library 800 Main St. La Crosse, WI 10:30 am – 11:15 am

bit.ly/2mLWWcE

This is an ongoing event. Check the website for more dates

September 2018

Date County Name Location Time More information
Sept 7 – 8 La Crosse La Crosse Storytelling Festival Myrick Park 2000 La Crosse St. La Crosse, WI 6:30 pm bit.ly/2LVTFma
Sept 8 Everywhere International Literacy Day Worldwide – check the library or Google for local events All day bit.ly/2mMC30U
Sept 14 Brown Prevea Read and Play Bay Park Square Mall 303 Bay Park Sq.Green Bay, WI 9:30 a.m. bit.ly/2sa8dFP
Sept 25 Kenosha Family Literacy Night Kenosha Literacy Council 2419 63rd St Kenosha, WI 5:30 pm – 10 pm bit.ly/2uQT6n0
Sept 28 Dane Read Like Mad (Community reading event) Madison, WI   bit.ly/2uS7nQx

Do you know of an upcoming children’s literacy event in your area? Get it featured on this list by emailing Alex Rogers arogers@chw.org with details!

Outdoor portrait of young girl reading under tree
Get outside this summer and read

An Epic donation

Reach Out and Read (ROR) Wisconsin recently received more than 1,200 books thanks to Epic’s annual book drive in Madison. Our staff will distribute these new and gently-used books across Wisconsin as we travel to clinics for site visits. This is Epic’s fourth annual book drive to benefit ROR Wisconsin.

The new books will be prescribed and given to children by their medical provider at well-child visits from 6 months to 5 years. The gently-used books will help clinics expand their literacy-rich environment as they can be kept in waiting areas or exam rooms for families to enjoy while they are waiting to see the provider. Gently-used books can also be used to supplement the new books and they make great gifts for older siblings who visit the clinic with a ROR-aged brother or sister.

If you are interested in hosting a book drive for a ROR Wisconsin clinic near you, please contact Alex Rogers at arogers@chw.org or (608) 442-4175. Clinics accept books for kids of all ages, but we do ask that you screen donated books before dropping them off at a clinic. Please use our book guidelines when screening and sorting donations.

We would like to thank book drive coordinators Kate Parr and Adrienne Kiser and all the generous Epic employees who donated books. ROR Wisconsin is very grateful for our continued partnership with Epic and we know our clinics and families appreciate these books.

Two Epic employees with their donation of books to Reach Out and Read Wisconsin
Thank you Epic employees for your generous donation to ROR Wisconsin!