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Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of Reach Out and Read Texas,

Happy (almost) Spring!

It will be wildflower season soon.  What wildflowers are prominent in your part of the state?  Hope you get to take a moment and smell the roses, or admire the bluebonnets.

Please do take time to look at the wonderful photos coming in from sites across Texas.  Look at the wonderful things you are doing even with all the challenges you face!  I am delighted to note that we have input from some wonderful resources here in Texas.  Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children’s Services at the San Antonio Public Library, offers insight into how to enjoy the book you have available.

Wishing you all moments to regroup and relax as you care for the children of Texas.

Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed.


Progress Reports are currently due.  While logged in, please review contact lists and make sure they reflect all active providers and coordinators at your site with current email and phone numbers.  And, check to see who needs to do the free online CME training!

New Catalogs were shipped in January.  Be sure to get an updated copy of the order form which reflects the new prices.

Article by Viki Ash, Coordinator of Children’s Services at the San Antonio Public Library:

Reading is its own reward!

TSR! Summer Institute supported Reach Out and Read

As a children’s librarian – who has worked in public libraries for over 30 years – parents often ask me about how to motivate their kiddos to read more.  I have only one answer to this question – read to them!  No matter how young or old they are – having a loving parent, grandparent, teacher or friend – take the time to sit down and share a book is rewarding (and motivating) for both the grown-up and the child.  Reading together gives the pair (or trio, or quartet) a shared literary experience. It leads to interesting conversations, new discoveries about each other and an enhanced understanding of how the world works.

While there are lots of terrific books and lots of cozy reading nooks – there is no perfect book for reading aloud, no perfect time or place to do the reading.  But there can be a perfect bond between the reader and the listener as both focus on the words, the pictures, the ideas inside the book.  If the book is too long – just “read” the pictures.  If the book is too easy – add in lots of conversation about the topics it introduces.  If the book just isn’t interesting – put it down and try a different one!

My experience tells me that time spent reading together is time well spent, time that builds shared memories and time that demonstrates to the young listener – reading can be fun, reading is something worth doing. 

Program Highlights:

Reach Out and Read

Dr. Frene’ LaCour-Chestnut of the Martin Luther King Health Clinic, Harris Health System in Houston, on Reach Out and Read, “To counter all of the messages that parents receive in regards to what can help their child’s development, the Reach Out and Read program has allowed us to consistently emphasize and reiterate that reading to your child is one of the foundational elements of early childhood development.  Children and parents alike are still excited about reading and books and I am proud to be able to share the love of reading with our patients and families!”

At the Martin Luther King Health Center of Harris Health, they do group trainings on Reach Out and Read with each new group of Residents.  The doctors also have book drives at their churches to supplement the books received from the Texas Coalition and medical students from Baylor College of Medicine rotate through as volunteer readers.

Corpus Christi Tots & Teens

Support for the Reach Out and Read program at Corpus Christi Tots & Teens was provided by a grant from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation.

Reach Out and Read

Dr. Edward Borchard reads with Laila John, age 5.

Dr. Borchard of Corpus Christi Tots & Teens notes, “ We started the Reach Out and Read program in our office approximately four years ago.  We have two goals for this program.  The first one is to educate our parents/caregivers of the importance of early brain development and express  the importance of reading to your child and the second one is to improve literacy in the household.” Click here for more photos from Corpus Christi Tots & Teens

Dr. Samantha Chaikin of Premiere Pediatrics in Longview, TX shared these photos.  Their program is supported in part by CenterPoint Energy.


Reach Out and Read Reach Out and Read
Kamryn Wilson with her new book! King Moton reading his new book.

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 2016

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Newsletter Contributors

Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed.
ROR-TX Director

Bang Pham
Web Developer IV

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