The Issue: Early Literacy for Children in Low-Income Families
Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that the most intensive period for acquiring speech and language skills occurs in the first three years of life. When children are exposed to more words at a young age, they develop a larger vocabulary and stronger reading skills. Children who do not regularly spend time listening to their parents or other family members read aloud may start school at a disadvantage to their peers and may struggle to catch up.
The Campaign: Distributing Books to Children at Checkups
If this Grassroots campaign raises $420, then Reach Out and Read Kansas City can distribute 168 new books to children who range in age from birth to 5 years old at wellness checkups. Each additional $10 raised will purchase another four books. During regular checkups at 49 medical clinics across the metropolitan area, doctors encourage parents to read to their children at home, counsel them on the importance of reading aloud, and give each child a new developmentally appropriate book.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
Reach Out and Read Kansas City
Reach Out and Read Kansas City supports early literacy development in children from low-income families by distributing books during medical examinations. Every year children from birth to 5 years old visit pediatric doctors for vaccinations and checkups. Doctors partnering with Reach Out and Read Kansas City talk to families about the importance of reading aloud to children and give them an age-appropriate book to take home. Volunteers also distribute pamphlets and gently used books in waiting rooms for children to read and take and, when possible, read aloud to children while they wait to model techniques for parents. Reach Out and Read Kansas City gives books to more than 28,000 children every year though partnerships with 49 area clinics. The books mostly go to underserved families and come in 25 languages to reach a wide variety of communities.