As we reflect on 2021, we stand in awe of the incredible community of supporters, volunteers, medical champions, and other partners who helped Reach Out and Read Colorado to not just survive but thrive in the face of another year of uncertainty and adaptation.
As you will read below, in 2021 we were able to not only maintain services for families in 64 counties in Colorado, but also to expand our impact. Thanks to your support and the resilience and creativity of our clinic partners, we were able to bring our Back to Birth program enhancement to many more families across the state, allowing us to double the number of books and increase the resources those children and caregivers receive during the first year of life.
Your support has helped ensure that parents and caregivers now start building healthy habits and home libraries for their children from day one. This is incredibly valuable, since research shows us that the first thousand days of a child’s life are a critical window of opportunity to support learning, bonding, and literacy across a child’s life.
This investment in the future of Colorado’s children would not have been possible without the steadfast partnership of our community of support, and we are truly grateful for every one of you.
ANNE TENGLER | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
SUZY JAEGER | BOARD CHAIR
2020-2021 Statewide impact
encouraging families to read aloud together every day
of families served are
living in poverty
American Indian/Alaska Native: 1%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.5%
Not Reported or Unknown: 17%
and language-appropriate books
‘prescribed’ to families at their regular well-child visits from age 0-5
English or Spanish Books
top other languages prescribed this year
Amharic (Ethiopia): 7%
Oromo (Ethiopia): 4%
and more than 2,000 providers partner with Reach Out and Read Colorado to ensure reading is a part of a child’s overall health
of colorado's 64 counties have access to reach out and read
Reach Out and Read Colorado couldn’t be more proud of our healthcare partners and our Program team for the creative ways they have navigated the pandemic. From a ‘porch drop’ of books after a telehealth visit to continually prioritizing the Reach Out and Read program in an ever-changing world, it’s clear that our 326 clinics value the impact of reading together as much as we do.
Despite a year of roller coaster changes, our program remained steady for those who matter most – the kids.
Here are a few ways we achieved just that:
With the pandemic ongoing, regional coordinators conducted virtual site visits, with the addition of tools such as an online Program Reflection to help gain feedback and provide targeted support to sites.
Transition & Training
The biggest challenge in our clinics was staffing, which caused frequent turnover and extremely limited time. The Reach Out and Read Colorado Program team dedicated countless hours to train new staff in the Reach Out and Read model to help protect high-quality program implementation for children and their families.
New Medical Leadership
In 2020, Reach Out and Read Colorado co-founder Dr. Steve Vogler retired as Medical Director after 20 years of service. After a wonderful (virtual) retirement celebration, he graciously welcomed Dr. Michelle Shiffman to take his place. Dr. Shiffman is a Denver Health pediatrician who is especially passionate about building equitable communities.
Diverse Provider Advisory Board
With the help of Medical Director Dr. Michelle Shiffman, we re-established a Provider Advisory Board to work strategically with staff to help strengthen Reach Out and Read Colorado’s impact across the state. Members of diverse backgrounds and locations provide well-rounded experience and insight to inform continued program implementation and refinement statewide.
Mirrors & Windows
Reach Out and Read Colorado increased our focus on diverse, equitable, and inclusive book titles — providing books that act as both mirrors and windows for all the communities and families we serve. Our new quarterly Recommended Book Lists highlight many diverse titles, thanks to our publishing partners, who are also increasing their focus in this area.
When children see themselves represented in books, they feel valued and included, signifying their lives and experiences are important. And when children have the chance to see a world different from their own in a book, they decrease their susceptibility to harmful stereotypes and learn about the world outside of their own.
“As a mother of biracial children, I did not realize the importance of diverse books until my toddler pointed to a similar-looking child in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and said “that’s me!” It was the first time he saw himself in a book we read, and we had read hundreds of books before that moment. Since then, I have been much more conscious to incorporate diversity in my family’s library and into the books I give my patients through Reach Out and Read Colorado.”
Dr. Kristie Malik
Children’s Hospital Special Care Clinic
Provider Advisory Board Member
vs. the National average of 78%
between our providers, clinic staff, and in-office volunteers
in our Denver office & regional positions
Top Titles ‘Prescribed’
A Message from Our Park Hill Clinic Sponsors
Ronni McCaffery & Barbara Frank
Longtime Reach Out and Read Colorado Champions
Park Hill Clinic Sponsors
Special Events $114,128
Program Income $25,750
Investment Income ($1,489)
We are so grateful for our strong community of support. Our work would not be possible without our generous individual donors, foundations, corporations and other partners, including our featured partners below:
“At DaVita, we strive to be role models and citizen leaders. Reach Out and Read Colorado is a trusted partner who is deeply embedded in communities statewide, providing our Teammates numerous volunteer opportunities to engage, learn, and see first-hand the value of this work.”
DIRECTOR, VILLAGE GIVING & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DAVITA GIVING FOUNDATION
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Suzy Jaeger, Chair
Dee Daniels RN
Simon Hambidge MD
George Love, Jr.
Steve Vogler MD
Kimberly White MD
Mary Zavadil MD
Since joining the Reach Out and Read Colorado team in 2021, I have been consistently inspired by the commitment and urgency of the Reach Out and Read Colorado community’s response to ensure that all children in need across Colorado are able to access this transformational program.
From the expert clinicians on our Provider Advisory Board to the Girl Scouts leading community book drives, our community acts with a sense of urgency to ensure that as many children and their caregivers as possible have the support they need to thrive. It is an honor to be part of such a passionate community, and I am excited to see how we will continue to foster growth, impact, and innovation on behalf of children across Colorado.
Although 2021 was another unpredictable year, I am optimistic that in 2022 and beyond we will continue to grow our community of support and I look forward to welcoming all of you at face-to-face events, at our offices in Denver and across the state.
HARRISON HOLCOMB | DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT