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Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of Reach Out and Read Texas,

It has been a busy few months here at Reach Out and Read Texas; I’ve been reaching out to many of you in various ways, to learn more about the program, what is working, what your needs are, and how we can expand and improve Reach Out and Read in Texas.  I am grateful that so many of you have paused in your very busy lives to share your successes and challenges with me.  Here are just a few highlights so far:

  • HB 2741, introduced to the Texas House of Representatives by Rep. Capriglione (District 98) and supported by the Texas Pediatric Society, mentions Reach Out and Read, for more information, click here
  • In Palacios, a small community of less than 5000 on the Gulf Coast, I met with Brandi West and Margaret Doughty of the Palacios Community Hub, Cynthia Garrett from First Books, Gail Purvis, Executive Director of the Trull Foundation, and Katie Gilbert, Nurse Practitioner at the Palacios Medical Clinic to learn about the collaborations they are forming to support the literacy needs of their rural community.  
  • A special thanks to Rosie Hernandez of Parkland Hospital Systems for taking time to share about the program in the Parkland clinics and to Amanda Stallings at JPS Foundation for her time as well during my recent visit to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to visit sites and perform observations.
  • Gratitude to Primrose Schools across the state who are teaching both the importance of reading and also the value of generosity by sponsoring book drives in February to support Reach Out and Read programs in their area.
  • At the Center of Hope,  a 234-bed non-denominational faith-based homeless shelter for women and their children with a medical and PA student-managed outpatient clinic,   Patti Pagels, MPAS, PA-C and Tiffany Kindratt, MPH, oversaw a student-led program improvement study for their Reach Out and Read program.  Kathy Chung, Christina Park, Tanya Michelle Corder, Jenny Kim, Kristen Walls, Heather Salinas and Jeff Williams, MPAS, PA-C studied the issue of limited documentation of book delivery in the electronic health records (EHR), limited training and lack of pediatric literacy knowledge with new student managers (an issue many clinics face!).  Their conclusions were that consistent training was necessary to promote EHR documentation, eliminate potential barriers, and improve confidence in assessing literacy in their patients.  We are so thrilled for their involvement and investment in improving Reach Out and Read!

Looking forward to hearing from you… please share your photos, stories and best practices and I’ll share them with the rest of the Texas Coalition!

Warm regards,
Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed.

Program Highlights


Cassandra Singleton, Nurse Practitioner at PediPlace in Lewisville, TX shares their tracking system.


Lori Stoikes, Volunteer at Pecan Creek Pediatrics Associates, shares a book with one of Dr. Glenna Harris’ young patients


Patricia Hernandez at Children’s Health-Bachman Lake, supported by the Dallas Foundation, has eagerly taken on program coordination,

Upcoming Events

BookSpring in Austin hosting their 3rd Annual Storybook Heroes Luncheon,
Guest speaker: Lynda Johnson Robb
Wednesday, May 6th
at the Radisson Hotel & Suites, 111 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX

Friends of Alamo City Reach Out and Read Annual Literacy Conference in San Antonio, Friday, May 8th

8:00-11:00 am
Friday, May 8, 2015
Texas Diabetes Institute, Room 1010
701 S. Zarzamora
San Antonio, TX  78207

To support the various programs at the Palacios Community Hub, there will be a Palacios Pirate Festival June 19th and 20th so if you are in the area, check it out!


Quality Corner

  • How do you support literacy awareness in your waiting area?


    (above photo from UNT-Health Science Center, Pediatric Dept., Lauren Dobbs, PA, Sarah Matches, DO)

  • Ask local groups to do gently used book drives to stock the waiting area with books
  • If budget allows, set up child-sized furniture in the waiting area that invites sitting down with a book
  • Posters, flyers, resource materials promoting reading, referral information available for the library (hours of operation, hours for story time), GED and ESL classes, etc…
  • Developmental milestones information

Find Us Online:

The easiest way to show your support for Reach Out and Read Texas is by "liking" us on Facebook or “following” us on Twitter.  We work to provide program updates, early literacy news, and resources for parents, educators, and medical providers.  Please join the conversation today! 


The editorial staff of the The Reach Out and Read Newsletter would like to hear from you.  Please submit your comments, suggestions, and questions to Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed. at .

Spring 2015

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Newsletter Contributors

Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed.
ROR-TX Director

Bang Pham
Web Developer IV

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