December 2023 Newsletter

Meet Our Newest Team Member: 
Sejal Kothari
Senior Manager of Books & Literacy
Sejal recently made a career transition from the pediatric sector to the nonprofit sector and is thrilled to start her journey with Reach Out and Read.  A long-time proponent of the link between literacy and health, and a book lover since childhood, she hopes to leverage her experience in the child development and education spaces to maximize the impact of this program.  She looks forward to this exciting collaboration that will ensure more books in more homes for as many children as possible.

Her favorite book as a child was The Phantom Tollbooth.
DEI Survey Collection: 
Reach Out and Read of Greater New York has partnered with Breaker28 to better understand opportunities to improve its core program and better support its Medical Sites, with a focus on opportunities to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. This process has multiple parts, including surveys and focus groups or interviews with its staff, board, families, physicians, and site coordinators. During the weeks of October 10th and 17th focus groups for Site Coordinators and Medical providers were conducted. Some key takeaways:o Continue our diversity and equity efforts, especially in book selection of Books being tracked as one of the most challenging things for sites  o More resources beyond early literacy strategies o More site visits from us (virtual or in-person)  o Including parent perspective ROR GNY looks forward to continuing the work to determine the best opportunities for improvements and providing the best early literacy support to families. 
NYPL Partnership
In September 2022, NYPL reached out to ROR GNY to partner to enhance waiting room areas in sites in the South Bronx and East Harlem areas.Since, NYPL has updated two waiting rooms at sites to be welcoming, engaging and literacy rich.  NYPL has also connected sites to nearby libraries for resources and community events.  NYPL has also provided over 10 sites with 100- 150 diverse books and exciting literacy activity kits for families to take home.  Here are some photos from the latest updates

Check This Out:

Provider Spotlight

Connect With Us

Progress Reports are open until March 1st

Reach Out and Read January 2023 Progress Report officially went live on January 17th, 2023. This Progress Report will collect data for the last six months (July-December 2022) and will be open for submission until March 1st, 2023

There are some updates in MyROR.  In efforts to make it easier for users, we have created a Progress Report Tips sheet resource to highlight some of the changes for sites, as well as a video tutorial.  Both can be found in myRoR by simply searching “Progress Report Tips” in the main Library.

for your content.

Veronica is the Program Coordinator for the Medical Engagement team at ROR GNY. As an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College, she studied Psychology and Education with an emphasis on literacy development. Before joining ROR GNY, she worked as a second-grade teacher and as a logistics manager for a summer camp based on the Percy Jackson book series. These roles showed her the importance of instilling a holistic passion for reading in children. It can – and should – be encouraged as a tool for learning, creativity, and social connection. Veronica is excited for this new opportunity to promote literacy as a vehicle for equity within Greater New York. 

Her favorite as a child included Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina and Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. 

Check It Out:

Spotlight on Bellevue Hospital for the beautiful display of the newest ROR GNY poster

Connect With Us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Christina DiBartolo 

Reach Out and Read of Greater New York  

646-893-7333 

cdibartolo@reachoutandreadnyc.org 

Reach Out and Read of Greater New York Welcomes Josh Green as New Board Chair 

New York, NY, January 2023Reach Out and Read of Greater New York (ROR GNY), the 501(3)c nonprofit that incorporates books into pediatric care and encourages families to read aloud together, is thrilled to welcome new Board Chair, Josh Green.  

Effective January 1, Josh Green succeeds Jack E. Pace III, who devotedly served as Board Chair of ROR GNY for many years.  

“Jack Pace’s leadership has been critical to the success of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York and while I can’t hope to fill Jack’s shoes, I look forward to following in his footsteps,” said Josh Green. “Like all members of the ROR GNY Board, I am committed to supporting the vitally important work done by the talented ROR GNY staff and the extraordinary ROR GNY network of healthcare professionals. Together, we will ensure that every child in our community has the opportunity to imagine a brighter future.” 

Josh Green is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Novata, an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) platform for private markets. Novata was created by a consortium that includes Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, Hamilton Lane, and S&P Global. Today, Novata supports ESG data collection by private market investors with over $1 trillion in assets under management. Prior to Novata, Josh co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Panjiva, a supply chain data business that was acquired by S&P Global. For many years, Josh has served on the board of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York. Josh lives in New York City with his wife Lindsey and their two children, both of whom love books. 

Pace will continue to serve as the immediate past Board Chair and as a member of ROR GNY’s Board of Directors. 

Jack Pace added, The resilience and strength of ROR GNY are testaments to the powerful staff and committed Board who manage the great work of the organization.  Serving as Board Chair has been an honor and a highlight of my career.  That a leader with the insight and imagination of Josh Green is taking over as Chair should give all of ROR GNY’s supporters and constituents cause for great excitement. 

“Our Board of Directors is comprised of a dedicated team of leaders committed to ensuring that every child receives a new, relevant, and accessible book at every single doctor’s appointment and that parents are given the tools they need to be their child’s first teacher,” said Emily Marchese, Executive Director of ROR GNY.  

“This would not be possible without the immense dedication of our board members. I am honored to welcome Josh as our new Board Chair. We are excited to channel Josh’s talent, expertise, and energy into furthering our mission. We are grateful to Jack for his commitment and leadership to ROR GNY and are thrilled he will continue to serve on our Board and as our immediate past Board Chair.” 

About Reach Out and Read of Greater New York 

Reach Out and Read of Greater New York gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. We provide books and training to over 230 Reach Out and Read programs in predominantly low-income communities in New York City, Long Island, and the Greater Hudson Valley. The program is built on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop essential early literacy skills in young children via the existing health infrastructure. Our program is a proven intervention, supported by 15 independent, peer reviewed research studies. Studies were published in renowned journals including Clinical Pediatrics, Journal of the National Medical Association, and Pediatrics. Follow RORGNY on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To donate or learn more about Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, visit, reachoutandreadnyc.org.  

Media Contact: 

Christina DiBartolo 

cdibartolo@reachoutandreadnyc.org 


Welcome Our New Board Chair

Josh Green is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Novata, an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) platform for private markets. Novata was created by a consortium that includes Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, Hamilton Lane, and S&P Global. Today, Novata supports ESG data collection by private market investors with over $1 trillion in assets under management. Prior to Novata, Josh co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Panjiva, a supply chain data business that was acquired by S&P Global. For many years, Josh has served on the board of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York, a childhood literacy non-profit, and he was selected as Board Chair in 2023. Josh lives in New York City with his wife Lindsey and their two children, both of whom love books.



Meet Our Newest Team Member 

 Christina DiBartolo is the Senior Manager of Development of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York where she oversees fundraising operations for the organization. Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Christina was the Manager of Annual Giving at The College of New Jersey. While at TCNJ, Christina expanded the program and ran the largest single fundraising initiative for the college, Day of Giving, raising over $388,000 in 2022. Before her work at TCNJ, Christina served as the Development Manager of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a nonpartisan, dialogue leading to action nonprofit based in Washington, DC where she led efforts to grow the organization’s fundraising infrastructure and processes. Originally from South Jersey, Christina graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in History and from Georgetown University with a masters in Conflict Resolution. Christina’s favorite book growing up was The Fat Cat by Jack Kent.


Thank you for joining our Town Hall on December 16th  
Here are some videos to for you to enjoy with some important self-care techniques: 
Box breathing: Box breathing relaxation technique: how to calm feelings of stress or anxiety – YouTube 
Chair Yoga: 5 Minute Chair Yoga Stretch for Beginners | Quick & Easy Follow Along Routine – YouTube 
Guided Meditation: 3-minute mindfulness meditation for clarity – Flow – YouTube  

Book Updates!!! 
We have so many new books that have been disbursed to sites: 
Scholastic donated over 12,000 books which went out to sites in November 2022 
All About Books shipped 43,000 books to sites in December 2022. 
In January 2023 over 120,000 books from Barefoot Books were shipped out to over 150 sites. 
We will be sending updates about book orders from Jumping Cow Press in which we are slated to receive 4,800 new books.

  A very special Thank You to these partners in supporting our mission to expand early literacy in the Greater New York area! We are so excited for the families that will get to experience reading these stories.  
Connect With Us
Join Us for our Quarterly Town Hall Hello ROR GNY community: We are delighted to invite you to join Reach Out and Read of Greater New York’s quarterly town hall on Friday, December 16th, 2022 @12-1 pm.  Topic: Selfcare for our ROR GNY Sites  We hope to see you there!  Please find the zoom information below and feel free to share this invite with other medical professionals and staff at your ROR GNY clinic as we would love to see everyone there.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89926879558?pwd=aEhCaEI4VktoMDhkVnptU243V0ErZz09



Is your site ready for in-person Volunteers? ROR GNY receives many inquiries for volunteer opportunities.  Since COVID-19 we have been utilizing volunteers to conduct virtual read-alouds. We now have volunteers ready to engage and are interested in conducting in-person read-alouds in waiting rooms, as well as assisting with book organization, book drives and other opportunities. Let us know if your site is open to in- person read-alouds or other Volunteer opportunities.  Please email Patricia Phillips at pphillips@reachoutandreadnyc.org if you are interested in connecting with volunteers. 

Check out our Provider Spotlight!!!

Receive Free Legos for Patients with Prescription to Play

ROR GNY is excited to introduce to you Prescription for Play. Prescription for Play is a program delivered by Primary Care Providers during well-child visits to promote play for development in children aged 18 – 36 months. Free LEGO – DUPLO bricks and materials are available care teams to distribute to patients during routine visits. Becoming a Prescription for Play site is free.  To find out more information and sign up visit the site below:  Prescription for Play (rx4play.org)https://www.rx4play.org/
Book Updates!!!

We have so many new books on the way to sites: Scholastic donated over 12,000 books which went out to sites in November 2022 All About Books is preparing a shipment of 43,000 books to deliver to sites nearing end of December. In December 2022 we are expected to receive an order of over 120,000 from Barefoot Books which will be distributed to over 150 sites. We will be sending updates about book orders from Jumping Cow Press in which we are slated to receive 4,800 new books.   A very special Thank You to these partners in supporting our mission to expand early literacy in the Greater New York area! We are so excited for the families that will get to experience reading these stories.  

Welcome our New Board Member Dr. Chan is a board-certified pediatrician at a PCMH-recognized hospital-affiliated primary care office in Hempstead and a teacher for pediatric residents and medical students who have their continuity clinic in her office. Dr. Chan graduated from St. George’s School of Medicine and completed her residency at NYU Langone Long Island Hospital formally known as Winthrop Hospital. After working 6 years in 2 offices in the NYC area at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn and Urban Health Plan in Corona, Queens, Dr. Chan returned to the same office where Dr. Chan had trained as a resident and has been practicing here for the past 6 years. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Chan is involved with several quality improvement projects including 1) evaluation and management of patients with ADHD, 2) coaching the resident project on the early education of dental care and brushing in her patients, and 3) coaching the medical student project on depression screening. Since Dr. Chan returned 6 years ago, Dr. Chan became the Reach Out and Read Coordinator and was the recipient of the 2021 Living, Breathing, ROR GNY Award. In 12 years as a pediatrician, besides taking care of children and watching them grow up, it has been a pleasure to teach the next generation of pediatricians to detect early, educate and help prevent health concerns to provide our children with a better future.  
Exciting Updates About Books
ROR GNY is excited to announce that we have partnered with All About Books for a new order for 2022. We are expected to receive 43,000 books to be distributed to sites.  Thank You to All About Books!!!
 We are thrilled to announce that in December 2022 we are expected to receive an order of over 120,000 from Barefoot Books which will be distributed to over 150 sites. We are excited for the families that will get to experience reading these stories. A very special Thank You to Barefoot Books in supporting our mission to expand early literacy in the Greater New York area!
A special Thank You for your cooperation in completing the Reach Out and Read of Greater New York Fall Survey.  This survey is extremely helpful in collecting information for effective tracking of updated site contact and shipping information, book needs and preferences per site, training needs and opportunities as well as volunteer opportunities.  If for any reason your site was unable to complete the survey, please see the link below to be able to do so:https://forms.gle/wo8GyPDXQitHDVKf6 

Upcoming: Town HallDecember 16th, 2022 We are excited to invite you to attend our upcoming Town Hall meeting.  Further details will be provided. 
Annual Benefit:ROR GNY IS THRILLED TO ANNOUNCED THAT WE MET OUR GOAL OF $200,000 AT THE ANNUAL BENEFIT: CELEBRATING RESILIENCE
 Benefit : Celebrating Resilience 
 
 
 
We Are Excited to See You!Date: Monday, October 3, 2022
Time: 6:30P.M. to 9:30P.M.
Location: Tribeca Rooftop (2 Desbrosses Street New York, NY 10013)
Dress Code: Cocktail or business attire
Check-in: When you arrive at Tribeca Rooftop, you will be greeted by ROR GNY staff and volunteers. Kindly give your name and you will be presented with your table number and printed program. Contact Trish for information:Trish Rollins,Development Manager PRollins@reachoutandreadnyc.org or 646-893-7333

Our HonoreesEvent Honoree: Jack E. Pace III
Mills Tannenbaum Award: Aram Kim
Advocate for Diverse Books Award: Patricia Anderson, MD, Shamiza Ally, MD, Acklema Mohammad, MD – Urban Health Plan
Jack Pace, Living, Breathing ROR GNY Award: Pamela Piyavunno, RN – Mt. Sinai South Nassau Family Medicine Barbara Zion-Green – Cohen Children’s Medical Center 
Mental Health Advocate Award:  Ilana Palgi, PsyD – NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens – Pediatric Practice
 Trusted Messenger Award : Jennifer Gomez – LINCS Program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Gary Chin – Morris Heights Health Center 
Whole Family Advocate Award: Claudia Aristy – Bellevue Hospital, NYC Faye Kokotos, MD – Montefiore Medical Center / Pediatric Primary Care at FCC
There are still opportunities to donate.  Please visit:Reach Out and Read of Greater New York (givesmart.com)​
 
 
 
 
 Join Us for Our Town Hall MeetingOctober 14th,2022  
 
 
 We are delighted to invite you to join Reach Out and Read of Greater New York’s quarterly town hall on Friday, October 14th, 2022 @12-1pm.  We are excited to welcome our guest speaker: Dr. Joanna Perdomo, MD. We will also: Introduce new program staff members who will be supporting your sitesOur Annual Survey collecting information crucial to book procurement/ shipmentsIntroduce information about our DEI work and initiatives
We hope to see you there!  Please find the zoom information below and feel free to share this invite with other medical professionals and staff at your ROR GNY clinic as we would love to see everyone there. Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88039907068
Meeting ID: 880 3990 7068
 
 
 
 
 Pediatrician Focus Group Opportunity
We would like to invite you to take part in a focus group (small and confidential discussion group). Please use this Calendly link to schedule your focus group for the week of October 10th or 17th: https://calendly.com/jlizzio/pediatricians-focus-groupsBreaker28 is working with Reach Out and Read of Greater New York to better understand opportunities to improve its core program and better support its Medical Sites, with a focus on opportunities to become more equitable and inclusive. Focus groups will provide vital input for future strategic planning goals.  This process has multiple parts, including surveys and focus groups or interviews with its staff, board, families, physicians, and site coordinators. The groups will be hosted by Breaker28 and as a result, your identity will be kept confidential.  The focus group should last no longer than one hour, and it will create a space to interact with other Pediatricians regarding your experiences with Reach Out and Read of Greater New York. Once you have RSVP and we have confirmed attendance, you will receive a $25.00 Gift card from the ROR GNY team. We hope you can join the focus group and due to limited attendance ask for your confirmation by 10/1/22.
For more information, please contact Jessica Lizzio, Senior Manager of Pediatrician Engagement at jlizzio@reachoutandreadnyc.org
 
 
 
 
 
ROR GNY Fall 2022 Survey ReminderPlease don’t forget to complete the ROR GNY Fall Survey!The survey serves as a tool to collect information on areas such as site needs for different types of books and storage capacity to assist in further tracking for sending books to sites.  This survey will also serve as a tool to gather information regarding volunteer opportunities as well as information and willingness for medical professional trainings. This survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes.Please access the survey provided via emails.ROR GNY 2022 Fall Survey. https://forms.gle/wo8GyPDXQitHDVKf6
 
Progress Report UpdateWe understand that our sites continue to face challenges on the ground with the ongoing pandemic hence, ROR GNY will EXTEND the July Progress Report deadline from September 1st to October  1st, 2022.  This is a hard deadline, and the portal will be closed on October 1st EOD.  We hope that this extension will give our sites a chance to prioritize the wellbeing of staff while gathering the information necessary to complete the report. To support our sites with Progress Report completion we held two Office Hour sessions during which we answered any questions and concerns that our sites had. If you still have any questions, please reach out to Nardeen Khella at sitesupport@reachoutandreadnyc.org or Jessi Lizzio at jlizzio@reachoutandreadnyc.org. 
 
 
 
 Free PPE Equipment for Families 
 
 
 NYC Health + Hospitals’ Test & Trace Corps has pallets of PPE Care Packages available for distribution to partners. These include 25 surgical masks, 2 rapid tests, and a hand sanitizer.They currently have 2 pallets of packages left. They can ship an entire pallet to a site (pallets contain 300 packages) or they can schedule a pick up location where you can pick up a few boxes. Their quantities are running out quickly.If you are interested in any pallets or interested in picking up PPE Care Packages, email Kari Kurjiaka at kkurjiaka@reachoutandreadnyc.org. 
 
 
 
  Are you ready for In-Person Volunteers/ Readers in your Waiting Areas? 
 
  ROR GNY receives many inquiries for volunteer opportunities.  Since COVID-19 we have been utilizing volunteers to conduct virtual read alouds. 
Currently, we have volunteers ready to engage and are interested in conducting in-person read alouds in waiting rooms.Let us know if your site is open to in- person read alouds or other Volunteer opportunities. 
  
  
Please email 
Patricia Phillips at pphillips@reachoutandreadnyc.org if you are interested in connecting with volunteers.   
 
  READS Back to School Celebration was a Success!!! 
On August 24th a Back to School Celebration with East New York Reads was held in Highland Park.  So many excited children came out.  Children received books, games, participated in activities and Read Alouds.We look forward to participating in more events.   
 
 
 All About Books Shipped to SitesWe are thrilled to announce that on August 18, 2022 over 18,000 books, many of which were bilingual, were shipped from All About Books and disbursed to 36 sites. We are excited for the families that will get to experience reading those stories.  A special Thank You to All About Books! 
 
 
  Reminder:  Get Your Tickets!Annual Benefit: Celebrating ResilienceMonday, October 3, 2022
6:30P.M. to 9:30P.M.
Tribeca Rooftop – 2 Desbrosses Street New York, NY 10013
Contact Trish for information:Trish Rollins Development Manager 
PRollins@reachoutandreadnyc.org or
646-893-7333