Above: Dr. Leora Mogilner, a pediatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital, gave a book to Kaylee Smith, 9 months, and guidance to her mother, Tameka Griffiths, 33. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Big News for Children’s Literacy!

Too Small to Fail and Scholastic partner to support Reach Out and Read; AAP policy statement recommends early literacy promotion

June 24, 2014 — Denver, CO — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a major victory for children’s literacy: Too Small to Fail, Reach Out and Read, Scholastic and The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will collaborate to make early literacy promotion a regular part of pediatric care for children across the country.

PHOTO: Brian Gallagher, Reach Out and Read Executive Director; Hillary Clinton; Greg Worrell, President of Scholastic's Classroom and Library Group; and Fan Tait, MD, FAAP, Associate Executive Director of AAP and Director, Department of Community and Specialty Pediatrics.

 (l-r) Brian Gallagher, Reach Out and Read Executive Director; Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Greg Worrell, President of Scholastic’s Classroom and Library Group; and Fan Tait, MD, FAAP, Associate Executive Director of AAP and Director, Department of Community and Specialty Pediatrics.

The word gap leads to an achievement gap that can have lifelong consequences,” Ms. Clinton said, as she described the motivation that led toward this collaboration.  She cited research that affirmed the advantages children gain when they are read to from their infancy, advantages that are experienced far less frequently by children from low-income families.  The goal of this collaboration is to reach families in low-income communities through their pediatricians, to provide them with new children’s books, and to encourage them to make reading aloud a part of their family routine for the healthy development of their children.

Key details of the collaboration:

  • The AAP, which has endorsed the work of Reach Out an Read since the literacy organization’s inception, has released a policy statement recommending its members make literacy promotion a regular part of pediatric care.   This means that pediatricians everywhere will incorporate literacy guidance, as outlined by Reach Out and Read, into checkups, for healthy brain development and school-readiness.
  • Scholastic Inc. is donating 500,000 children’s books to be given out by pediatricians across the country to their young patients at checkups.
  • Too Small to Fail — an initiative of The Clinton Foundation dedicated to early childhood wellness –  is also developing materials to distribute to members of the American Academy of Pediatrics to help them emphasize the read-aloud message to parents.

In New York State, which has the largest concentration of medical colleges in the country, and where Reach Out and Read of Greater New York already promotes literacy at 200 locations throughout NYC, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley, the AAP policy statement is particularly significant and a true validation of the work we are doing to encourage families to read to children.

Read more about the AAP policy recommendation and CGI collaboration:

Copyright 2014 Reach Out And Read Greater New York