The Reach Out and Read Colorado biannual Statewide Conference is a celebratory gathering of more than 150 advocates and health care professionals from throughout Colorado. At the event, community partners and health care providers join forces to initiate a powerful and necessary statewide dialogue on poverty, pediatric best practice, literacy, the standard of care and current Colorado policy as it relates to education and health. The event agenda showcases speakers armed with data and dedicated to improving access to books for Colorado families while empowering ALL parents and caregivers to read aloud with children starting from birth. The conference is a thoughtful medical engagement exercise for healthcare providers, Site Coordinators, volunteers, and community partners.
The first Reach Out and Read Colorado Statewide Conference convened in 2007. Since the first event, conference goals have remained the same. The primary goal is presenting new research and updated training. The secondary objective is creating a sense of broader community for our partner clinics sites across the state. The conference focuses on connecting and information sharing. As our organization grows (currently our program operates at 325 sites serving children from every Colorado county) it is essential to continue to provide program partners with access to new and noteworthy research and best practices from the field.
At our 2017 Conference, our sessions focused on such topics as Toxic Stress, Books Beginning at Birth, Early Learning and Public Policy, Overcoming Barriers to Promoting the Standard Reach Out and Read Intervention, and an Overview of the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statements related to literacy promotion and screen time. More than 150 attendees from communities all over the state including Walsh, Cortez, Grand Junction, and Alamosa joined us at Children’s Hospital Colorado for a day full of presentations, discussions and brainstorming exercises. Attendees also visited with Book Publishers and Distributors to learn more about new products and share needs and desires for the populations they serve.
The 2019 Statewide is scheduled to convene on April 8. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information.