We have a large library of studies, reports, articles and more supporting early literacy and the power of the Reach Out and Read program. Below is some useful information from the National Reach Out and Read website supporting the program. Please check back for additional and oregon specific information. Thank you!
There is a crisis in the public education system in our country. More than one-third of American children enter kindergarten without the basic language skills they will need to learn to read. Those critical early literacy skills include recognizing the letters of the alphabet, understanding that books move from left to right, and being able to understand and tell stories.
Despite the billions of dollars Americans have invested in remedial reading programs, those millions of children who enter school unprepared are highly likely to never catch up. In fact, 88% of first graders who are below grade level in reading will continue to read below grade level in fourth grade. (Juel, 1988) And reading difficulty contributes to school failure, which increases the risk of absenteeism, dropping out, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy - all of which perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.
The answer is to "immunize" children against illiteracy in the critical years before they enter school, when interventions can have the most dramatic impact. In fact, Nobel Prize-winning economist James J. Heckman found that economic returns on dollars invested in early education are as high as 15-17% per year - higher than other traditional economic development strategies.
Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness with a research-tested, evidence-based model that's proven to help children develop the language skills they will need to learn to read and succeed in school.
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"I am honored to be a part of Reach Out and Read, one of the finest nonprofit organizations in America. Few nonprofits have the same evidence base (14 research studies), scale (3.9 million children served at 4,779 locations), and impact (significant developmental gains and higher test scores). Because of Reach Out and Read's extraordinary team of 30,000 volunteer doctors, nurses, and caring adults, all of this is achieved at an extremely low cost. Today, millions of American children show up to kindergarten unprepared to learn. We will work tirelessly in the years ahead to ensure that all children enter school prepared for success."
- Earl Martin Phalen
Chief Executive Officer, Reach Out and Read