December 21, 2012, Brooklyn, NY…Read
aloud and read often! That's the message State Senator Kevin Parker
shared with families at Lutheran Family Health Centers' Caribbean-American Family Health Center
in East Flatbush. His visit highlighted the work of Reach Out and Read
of Greater New York, a program that empowers parents to prepare their
little ones for kindergarten by reading aloud to them every day.
we all know, children who are read to by their parents and
grandparents, and who read early and often, are more likely to succeed
in school and life," said Senator Parker. "Children are our future, and
we must all do our best to help them succeed, and to help them lift our
community upward. That is why I am happy to be here today supporting
Reach Out and Read in its work with our children."
By the time
children from low-income families enter kindergarten, they are typically
12-14 months below national norms in language and pre-reading skills.¹
Through Reach Out and Read, pediatricians fight this developmental gap
by giving families free books and by counseling them on the importance
of reading aloud for healthy language development.
"We are very
happy to participate in the Reach out and Read Program," said Anita
Beecham-Robinson, M.D., Medical Director, Caribbean-American Family
Health Center. "Reading aloud plays a crucial role in a child's language
development. That's why we encourage parents to read to their children
at an early age. Thank you to Senator Parker, Reach Out and Read of
Greater New York, and our AmeriCorps members who make this program
There are Reach Out and Read programs at 42 hospitals
and health centers in Brooklyn, including five Lutheran Family Health
Network clinics: Sunset Park Family Health Center, Park Slope Family
Health Center, Park Ridge Family Health Center, Family Physician Health
Center, and the Caribbean-American Family Health Center. In Brooklyn,
over 71,000 children participated in the Reach Out and Read program last
¹ "A Quiet Crisis: The Urgent Need to Build Early Childhood Systems
and Quality Programs for Children Birth to Age Five," Policy Statement.
(2009) The Council of Chief State School Officers.
The Lutheran Family Health Centers
Reach Out and Read program is coordinated by Lutheran Family Health
Centers' Sunset Park Community AmeriCorps and HealthCorps programs and
always welcomes new book donations and reading volunteers.
Reach Out and Read of Greater New York distributes
books to a quarter of a million children annually at 185 Reach Out and
Read clinical locations throughout New York City, Westchester, Putnam,
Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties. For more
information, visit our website: www.reachoutandreadnyc.org. Reach Out and Read of Greater New York was recently featured on PBS NewsHour.
Reach Out and Read
is an evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that prepares
America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with
doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
Reach Out and Read currently serves one-third of the most impoverished
children in the U.S. The Reach Out and Read model is endorsed by the
American Academy of Pediatrics, and the program has one of the strongest
records of research support of any primary care intervention. This
year, Reach Out and Read's 28,460 volunteer doctors and nurse
practitioners will provide 6.4 million new books to 3.9 million children
at 4,779 healthcare locations in all 50 states. For further
information, please visit Reach Out and Read's website at www.reachoutandread.org.