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.
Several families joined Reach Out and Read Wisconsin staff at the Duck Pond on Sunday, June 10 for our annual Madison Mallards fundraiser. The Mallards are a Madison-based collegiate summer baseball team that competes in the Northwoods League. It was a thrilling game, as the Mallards won with a home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Tickets sales raised $170 dollars for our statewide literacy program. This money will provide more than 50 books. Children will bring home these books from their doctor’s office to enjoy again and again.
Books build better brains. Children participating in Reach Out and Read have language development scores that are improved by 3-6 months. Last year, more than 109,000 children statewide left their well-child visits with the gift of a new, high-quality book. But there’s more to Reach Out and Read Wisconsin than just those books.
Behind the baseball and the books, our program:
Is a two-generational clinical intervention that supports parent-child bonding, early brain development and a life-long love of learning
Has almost unparalleled access to children through medical clinics (nearly 90% of all young children see a healthcare provider at least annually for a check-up), supporting families through the trusted voice of their medical provider
Is incredibly cost-effective, as the implementation is embedded in the existing health systems
Is growing quickly, at the rate of 30 clinics a year (more than 20 clinics have initiated applications since the beginning of 2018!)
If you were unable to attend the Mallards game but would like to support our work, please use the button below! Thank you for giving more Wisconsin children the opportunity to reach out and read.
2017 is coming to an end and with that we want to take some time to reflect on the great accomplishments of the past year. Accomplishments which include hiring our third staff member, Amber Bloom, MSW, CAPSW, to provide assistance to clinics in the eastern part of the state. For our outstanding contributions to children in Wisconsin, we were awarded a Friends of Education award by State Superintendent Tony Evers. Additionally, we are the seventh largest Reach Out and Read affiliate in the country with more than 210 programs. Our other metrics keep growing as well:
We are serving 8,000 more kids than last year
30 new clinics started a ROR program in 2017
1,500 medical providers participate
More than 150,000 books distributed this year alone
Serving 1 in 5 children younger than age 6 in the state
Our growth and expansion continues but we cannot do it without your support. ROR is not just valuable to the kids who receive a new book; it supports parents as their child’s first teacher and helps medical providers do their job more effectively.
Hear why founding ROR Wisconsin medical director, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD thinks you should support our state office:
As an affiliate, we are doing well but your support can help us reach even more Wisconsin children in 2018.
Whether you choose to support a literacy organization or donate your gently-used books, there are plenty of opportunities to promote literacy and a love of reading to last a lifetime. Check out this list for ideas to get involved in Wisconsin.
Adult literacy: Use Wisconsin Literacy’s map to contact a program near you and become an adult literacy tutor. Tutors are needed to assist adult basic education learners, GED preparation and English language learners.
Early literacy: This list can help you find a Reach Out and Read program in your county. Contact your local clinic and ask what volunteer opportunities are available.
Volunteers can assist clinic staff with:
Book ordering, sorting and labeling
Hosting a fundraising event in your community to raise money for the clinic’s new book purchases for well-child visits ages 6 months to 5 years
Organizing a book drive to collect gently-used books appropriate for any age
Our book guidelines provide helpful tips about which types of books are acceptable
Collaborate with schools, churches, community groups and workplaces
Help create a literacy-rich environment by donating:
New bookcases or child-sized furniture (benches, tables, chairs)
A story time rug
Children’s or parenting magazines
Bulletin boards or other displays
Become a volunteer reader
Keep in mind not all clinics can accommodate volunteer readers and there may be an extensive volunteer screening process
Offer to read aloud at your child’s school or at the local library. Not only will you get to spend more quality time with them but you will also help their peers succeed too.
Advocate for literacy:
Even though it may not be an election year, contacting your state and federal representative to talk about the importance of literacy is always relevant.
To find your representative, enter your address using this tool
For data specific to your county or region contact our office
Looking to declutter? Give your much loved gently-used books to a friend, a child or a Little Free Library
If you live near Madison, WI the Madison Reading Project accepts book donations for children and teens. They share these books with non-profits, social workers, schools and shelters.
Do you support literacy in other ways? Comment below with your ideas.