How would you feel if you grew up unable to enjoy a bed time story? In Kansas City's lowest income neighborhoods, research estimates only one book is owned, in the home, per 300 children. Reach Out and Read Kansas City is doing all we can to bridge this gap so that all children in the Kansas City area have a book to call their own.
Each year, Reach Out and Read Kansas City provides nearly 84,000 new, culturally and developmentally appropriate books to 30,000 low income children, birth to age 5, during well-child visits at our partner clinic sites, building a 15-book library for each child before he or she enters kindergarten.
Reach Out and Read Kansas City is a nonprofit program in partnership with the Kansas University Endowment at the University of Kansas Medical Center and a member of the national Reach Out and Read Program.
Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
Reach Out and Read Kansas City has three programs to ensure as many children as possible in the Kansas City area are provided with books of their own, and enter school ready to succeed.
School Readiness Program Reach Out and Read Kansas City makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric care so that children grow up with access to books and engaged parents, and enter school ready to learn. Starting at birth through age five, doctors incorporate a book and the importance of reading into routinely scheduled well-child checkups utilizing three components: (1) counseling parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day; (2) giving the child a free, new developmentally and culturally appropriate children's book to take home during their well-child checkup; (3) creating literacy-rich waiting rooms with volunteer readers, reading corners, and books.
Hooked on Books Program Every spring, Reach Out and Read Kansas City challenges elementary and middle schools to compete in the Hooked on Books city-wide book drive. All books collected from Hooked on Books are distributed to disadvantaged children in the Kansas City area.
Kindergarten Book Bag Program At the four-year-old well-child visit, each Reach Out and Read Kansas City participant receives a book bag with a book, handouts, and activity sheets to help the child and family prepare for a successful transition into kindergarten.
Reach Out and Read Works - Key Findings
Parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children.
Reach Out and Read reaches the child through effectively teaching the parent to start lifelong learning in the home.
During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.
In the Kansas City area 83% of parents surveyed with children between 6 months and 5 years old reported reading or sharing books with their child at least three times per week after receiving literacy advice and a book to take home from their medical provider.
What distinguishes Reach Out and Read from other interventions is its large and growing evidence base. Since 1991, the Reach Out and Read model has been studied by academic investigators in a variety of settings, providing an extensive body of peer-reviewed research on the effects of the program. The body of published research supporting the efficacy of the Reach Out and Read model is more extensive than for any other psychosocial intervention in general pediatrics. Review the research findings here.