FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Strickland, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-821-9564
The following statements were issued regarding an announcement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, that it is asking members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor. For the first time, the AAP is promoting early literacy—beginning from an infant’s very first days—as an “essential” component of primary care visits. Through this commitment, the partners will ensure that doctors, parents and caregivers have the information, tools and books they need to promote reading out loud to children every day starting in infancy.
The AAP is teaming up with Reach Out and Read (ROR), a nonprofit literacy group that enlists pediatricians nationwide to give out books to low-income families, Scholastic, and Too Small to Fail to make this initiative a success. Reach Out and Read Carolinas and Smart Start have been working together since 2011 to bring the program to North Carolina’s youngest children.
From Callee Boulware, Director, ROR:
“Early literacy skills are critical for the development of healthy minds and bodies, and enable our children to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. Reach Out and Read is thrilled to have the national support of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the state-wide partnership with Smart Start that supports strong, high-quality Reach Out and Read programs in communities, better supporting children and families across the state.”
From Cindy Watkins, President, NCPC:
“We are so fortunate here in North Carolina, that our state leaders recognized the importance of early literacy years ago. With their support, our state’s children have been benefiting from Reach Out and Read, a nationally recognized program, since 2011. Last year alone, Smart Start served over 20,000 children through the program.”
In response to a directive from the North Carolina General Assembly in 2011 to “implement an evidence-based pilot literacy program that improves literacy of children from birth through five years of age,” the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC) dedicated $300,000 to support the implementation of the Reach Out and Read pilot project. Since that time, the program has expanded and the number of families and children being served through early literacy programs has grown significantly.
|FY 2011-2012||FY 2012-2013|
|Number of children participating in the evidence-based program, Reach Out and Read.||9,109||20,557|
|Number of medical offices participating in the Smart Start evidence-based program, Reach Out and Read.||39 offices in 20 counties||51 offices in 22 counties|
Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national program that supports doctors in their efforts to “prescribe” reading to young children and families during well-child visits through early literacy guidance. This includes book sharing, free books for children to keep, and waiting rooms full of books.
Smart Start, a network of nonprofit local partnerships led by The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc. (NCPC), creates innovative solutions to measurably increase learning and the healthy development of children birth to five. Smart Start gives local communities the freedom and responsibility to determine how to increase the health, well-being and development of their children based on the needs and resources of their local communities. NCPC establishes measurable statewide goals and communities determine the best approach to achieving them. For more information, visit www.smartstart.org.