A generous donation from the Genematas Foundation will help ensure that children visiting Pima County health
clinics will be exposed to the spark of learning while their physical needs are being addressed.
The Foundation provided $1,000 to purchase books for the Reach Out and Read program, which is a children’s literacy program offered at County clinics since 1997.
Through its efforts, not only is information about the importance of reading given to parents with children aged 6 months to 5 years, but children are provided with a new book, appropriate for their age and development.
“Both parents and children enjoy getting the books,” said Kathleen Malkin, Community Health Services Division Manager for the Pima County Health Department. “Immunizations aren’t particularly fun for children, so getting to choose a brand new book afterward has dried up many of those tears!”
The evidence-based program targets low-income families who don’t have the resources to purchase books for their children. Studies have demonstrated that having a health care provider speak to parents about reading does make a difference, particularly since many parents weren’t read to as children and do not know how important reading is to their child’s development and future school success.
Published research findings have demonstrated that parents served by the program are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children, while those served by the program in their preschool year score ahead of their peers on vocabulary tests.
“We are very grateful to the Genematas Foundation for their support in helping children get started on the right foot as they get ready for entering school,” Malkin said. “With the funding they’ve provided, we will be able to purchase books and get them in the hands of children who otherwise might not have books available.”
For more information about the program, please visit www.reachoutandread.org