The Texas State Library and Archives Commission and Reach Out and Read-Texas, a program of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, share a mission of encouraging a love of books and reading and supporting preschool children in school readiness. A collaboration agreement has been formalized to encourage Texas public libraries and Reach Out and Read programs to work together to promote early literacy development. This collaboration agreement symbolizes the importance of expanding partnerships to enhance the early childhood learning opportunities for Texas children.
Reach Out and Read-Texas gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into well-child visits and encouraging families to read aloud together. In the interaction between the medical provider and the family and child, books are tools to enhance modeling of language building interactions and to assess developmental milestones and social interactions between parents and child.
Since 1991, the Reach Out and Read model has been studied by academic investigators in a variety of settings, providing these key findings.
- Parents served by Reach Out and Read are up to four times more likely to read aloud to their children.
- Reach Out and Read reaches the child through effectively teaching the parent to start lifelong learning in the home.
- During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.
Texas public libraries are invited to contact Jocelyn McConnell MEd, Director of Reach Out and Read-Texas, at Jocelyn.M.McConnell@uth.tmc.edu, to initiate collaborations with local ROR programs. Public libraries may provide library card applications, calendars of events with early literacy, parenting, ESL, GED, and additional information that Reach Out and Read providers may share with children and families during well-child visits.
Libraries and Reach Out and Read providers may visit the Texas State Library website at
www.tsl.texas.gov/ldn/youthservices/ROR for additional information.