News for our donors who propel us forward.
Dear Reach Out and Read Colorado Community,
As members of Reach Out and Read Colorado’s Provider Advisory Board (PAB), we are fully committed to creating a foundation of success for young children by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Our board represents a variety of healthcare practices and geographic regions in Colorado. Spanning from Glenwood Springs to Fort Morgan, our experience as active Reach Out and Read Colorado healthcare providers helps us work strategically with staff to strengthen impact across Colorado. As a group with varying backgrounds – pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants – we provide insight and perspective for continued program implementation. We proudly share some highlights from our first year together:
The Provider Advisory Board played a pivotal role in helping establish The Giving Tree Fund criteria, a scholarship fund to help support Reach Out and Read Colorado’s efforts to offer the program in every pediatric healthcare setting in the state.
In partnership with RORCO’s Medical Director and Program Director, the PAB helped to refine the metric by which RORCO defines need, which we believe must be more broadly inclusive. As a result, when considering a clinic’s application, RORCO now looks at community needs, community employers, free and reduced lunch data, and qualitative notes provided by the site instead of simply the percentage of participants in subsidized health care programs.
Last year we began exploring the importance of diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) books and the immense value these books provide as both mirrors and windows for children of all backgrounds. The PAB drafted a statement in support of a DEI books initiative and presented it to Medical Champions at all RORCO partner clinics across Colorado to urge clinics to focus on this DEI effort in their community.
The PAB has also developed a RORCO training for first year medical students that highlights the research behind the ROR model and its impact on young children. All first year medical students at Denver Health, regardless of their future specialty, received the training. We hope to expand this initiative to all medical students in Colorado in the coming years.
Our group serves as a sounding board for timely topics and questions from Reach Out and Read Colorado staff, especially relating to the Back to Birth initiative and their efforts to better measure and articulate impact for funders and providers. We play an active role in sharing the early relationship health benefits of the ROR program at our clinics and within our community.
Looking forward, we will continue to support RORCO’s initiatives to ensure that high-quality DEI books are accessible to all families, increase our presence with medical students, and provide insight to help inform future expansion, all while pursuing greater geographic diversity within our members to increase the rural clinic voice. If you or someone you know may be interested in joining the PAB, please reach out to Director of Programs, Jessie Chase, at [email protected].
We stand behind the mission of Reach Out and Read Colorado, now more than ever. As healthcare providers working with children and their families on a daily basis, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to promote early literacy and the benefits of reading together as a family from day one.
Reach Out and Read Colorado Provider Advisory Board
Ashley Fredrickson, NP
Nicholas Gilman, MD
Morgan Hungenberg, MD
Deniz Kolozs, MD
Kelsea Loveless-Hoffman, MD
Kristie Malik, MD
Anna-Lisa Munson, MD
Cherie Nuanes, PA
Stella Ocampo, MD (former member)
Kavitha Periyalwar, MD (former member)
Megan Townsend, PA
Michelle Shiffman, MD, RORCO Medical Director
Jessie Chase, M.Ed., RORCO Director of Programs
Reach Out and Read Now Begins at Birth for Colorado Babies
adding 3 ‘doses’ of literacy in the first year of life
Two years ago, we announced our goal of starting the program at birth, because we know that when it comes to early literacy, the sooner the better. A child’s brain is developing from day one.
Today, we are thrilled to announce that all Reach Out and Read Colorado partner healthcare clinics now start prescribing books and sharing literacy guidance with all families at a child’s earliest visits.
This year, Reach Out and Read Colorado will help an estimated 46,000 newborns grow up in literacy-rich homes.
“I think it is important to read early, and even while pregnant, for babies to learn and develop. Mateo loves it when we read together — he is very attentive to the photos and to my voice, and I know his brain is developing while I am reading to him.”
Elena, mother of 3-month-old Mateo
“The critical period of language acquisition peaks during the first year of life, so the thought of starting the program earlier makes a lot of sense. But even beyond brain development and language acquisition, it’s really about relationships – and developing relationships with parents. Shared reading is a way for parents to interact in a positive way with their child, and those positive interactions with stable, nurturing caregivers can actually help buffer maladaptive events that happen in a child’s life and set the child up for success going forward. These early relationships are very important and start very early.”
Dr. Anna Miller-Fitzwater | Pediatrician
from the Reach Out and Read Podcast with Dr. Navsaria
Deepening Our Impact with Huron Consulting Group
We are profoundly grateful for one of our leading community partners, Huron Consulting Group, and their consistent support and generous partnership. Our partnership is built on a natural alignment around building stronger, brighter futures for everyone in the communities where we live and work.
Huron’s commitment to Reach Out and Read Colorado’s mission has deepened throughout the past year, with opportunities to learn about and connect with our program, collect books to share with Colorado children, volunteer in our office, and celebrate our collective successes at the Nochecita Gala, where they were a featured sponsor. The Huron team helped stock literacy-rich waiting rooms in pediatric clinics by hosting a virtual book drive focused on high quality diverse, equitable and inclusive titles. We were also delighted to be a part of Huron’s annual day of service in May, when more than 30 Huron Colorado team members joined us at the Clayton Early Learning Campus to help sort and pack gently-used books for distribution to clinics. Through this partnership, Huron is helping us to build brighter futures for some of Colorado’s most underserved families.
Corporate and community partnerships like this play a critical role in ensuring that Reach Out and Read Colorado can reach and serve as many children as possible in all 64 counties across the state. If you are interested in learning more about partnership opportunities, visit the Get Involved page of our website.
In July, we had a wonderful Breakfast for Dinner fundraiser at Snooze in Denver!
It was a family-friendly evening full of pancakes, books, laughter, and an interactive reading of Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night by local children’s book author Lauren Kerstein.
We’d like to give a special thank you to our friends at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery for your partnership, hospitality, and for making a difference in our community.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Birdies for Books
Thank you to everyone who participated in Birdies for Books throughout the 2022 season.
Every time you tracked a birdie, par or bogey, you helped Reach Out and Read Colorado set up children for a lifetime of success through books and early literacy guidance!
Stay tuned for Birdies for Books 2023 next spring!
Save the Date!
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6TH
Reach Out and Read Colorado is gearing up for Colorado Gives Day on December 6, 2022. Colorado Gives Day is a statewide movement that inspires and unites thousands of donors to give where they live and support local nonprofits.
Mark your calendars, or schedule your gift beginning November 1st: coloradogives.org/rorco
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