The grant award will help support 10 current Reach Out and Read program sites, where more than 4,500 children and families receive new books and developmental guidance on the importance of reading aloud. The gift will also allow Reach Out and Read to serve an additional 5,000 children in the communities of Stamford, Greenwich, Bridgeport, and Norwalk.
In supporting Reach Out and Read’s early literacy efforts, the Grossman Family Foundation contributes to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a national effort by dozens of funders “to close the gap in reading achievement that separates many low-income students from their peers; raise the bar for reading proficiency so that all students are assessed by world-class standards; and ensure that all children, including and especially children from low-income families, have an equitable opportunity to meet those higher standards.”
“More than half of all low income children in Connecticut and across the country reach kindergarten lacking the skills necessary to learn to read,” said Dr. Cathy Wiley, Reach Out and Read Medical Director for Connecticut. “This landmark grant by the Grossman Family Foundation not only supports the important work Reach Out and Read Sites have been carrying out in the region, but also energizes the expansion of Reach Out and Read to new Sites. We are delighted to be able to bring the Reach Out and Read program to more children in need and through this partnership we are a step closer to our goal of reaching all low-income children in the state.”
Currently, Reach Out and Read serves more than 47,000 children throughout Connecticut at our 42 clinical locations. Through our volunteer team of over 400 providers, we distribute nearly 60,000 books every year in Connecticut alone. Nationwide, Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses distribute 6.4 million books to children at more than 4,700 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics, and health centers in all 50 states, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities.
“On behalf of the children and families we serve in Connecticut, we are grateful for the incredible support of the Grossman Family Foundation,” said Reach Out and Read CEO Earl Martin Phalen. “Research shows that if you intervene in the first five years of life and partner with parents, you can dramatically improve the early literacy skills of children, putting them on the track for success in school and in life. Through its tremendous generosity, the Grossman Family Foundation is making success possible for thousands of children in Fairfield County.”
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.
Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. The more than 3.9 million children served annually by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a six-month developmental edge over their peers.
Reading aloud, according to childhood development experts, is the single most effective thing parents can do to help prepare their children to succeed in school.