Reach Out and Read Header

Letter from the Director

Dear Friends of Reach Out and Read Texas,

April ‘showers’ (more often downpours in Houston) are happening outside my window this afternoon as I write this note.  We certainly know exciting weather changes in the Lone Star State.  What is the expression? If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.  I hope this finds your area of the state calm and pleasant with no hint of dramatic weather or summer temps in sight.

I so appreciate Kristi Romero’s contributions to the management of Reach Out and Read Texas and know that many of you have had interactions with her as she schedules phone ‘visits’ with more remote sites or when needing help completing your progress reports or online training.  We’ll be getting on the road soon to visit more of you in person to see how your programs are working.  In the meantime, take a moment to note some highlights below.

Please remember that encouraging parents to talk, sing, and read with young children is a powerful resource for changing the trajectory for at-risk children and their brain development.  I appreciate all that you do to support the children of Texas!

Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed.
Reach Out and Read Texas

Program Highlights:


Scholastic is currently offering double bonus books.  This means for every $100 of books you order, they’ll send you 20 free bonus books, offer good through May 5th.  The Texas Affiliate is currently preparing our next round of orders based on the Jan 2017 Progress Reports so we’ll be benefitting from this additional support as well!
Thanks, Scholastic!

The National Reach Out and Read organization has updated their website and added some infographics that help tell the Reach Out and Read story:

Completing Progress Reports-check out the numbers!  Kristi Romero created a graphic demonstrating engagement across the state.  Completing the progress reports is no one’s favorite task, but it has a purpose.  It really informs our conversations with the national program, the state legislature and potential donors.  It also helps us know how we are doing in terms of addressing book needs and other assistance sites might need.   Many thanks to those of you who’ve submitted your report!  And, way to go West Texas for having the highest completion rate, hurrah!

jan 2017

We’ve initiated a survey on Qualtrix evaluating content comprehension and application of the online CME training course.  More as we collect information from our pilot health care systems.   If you are interested in participating, contact us!


Site visits and observations continuing.  This helps us evaluate the strength of your programs, how closely you are able to match the evidence-based best practices and what support you need to execute your programs.  These conversations also help us make connections for you in your community for resources that may be available.



Friends of Alamo City Reach Out and Read (FACROR) Early Literacy Conference:
Friday, May 5, 2017
8:30-11:30 am
Foundation Room, 5th Floor                              
Robert B Green Bldg
903 W Martin
San Antonio, TX 78207
Please RSVP to Rebecca Huston, MD at

camp and sanders

Congratulations to Dr. Tammy Camp and Betty Sanders, CPC with Texas Tech Pediatrics at TTUHC in Lubbock for 20 years of participation in Reach Out and Read!

They’ve implemented a training program for all incoming residents which includes Reach Out and Read.  Betty Sanders, site coordinator, has always been proactive about their program and Dr. Camp notes that she has been extra diligent this year even with many challenges faced.


HB 3775, introduced to the Texas House of Representatives by Rep. John Raney (District 14) mentions Reach Out and Read, for more information, click here.

Staff Training

Staff Training--we’ve created a brief ppt with some of the wonderful CME training videos included to assist with trainings for general staff (that don’t need to complete the online CME training).  Just contact us if you’d like to utilize this resource at your next staff meeting.   

I recently asked Paula Solano, Outreach Coordinator at the Family Health Center in Waco, to share some of what she’s learned about launching a new program.  I wanted her input because she facilitated the online training of over 100 medical providers with an 85% completion rate (!!!) and navigated the collaboration of a community-wide effort (Prosper Waco, Jr. League Waco and the Family Health Center).  She emphasized that success depends on staff understanding and believing in the program, medical leadership making the program a priority and the community investment in the outcomes.  She shared the following about the launch of their new program this past September:

The Junior League of Waco, Family Health Center, and Prosper Waco collaborated to bring back Reach Out and Read to the Waco community last fall.

In honor of the Junior League of Waco’s 80th anniversary, Family Health Center received an $80,000 grant to fully fund Reach Out and Read. Reach Out and Read is a nationwide program that provides children with a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric well-child visits and by encouraging families to read aloud together. Research has shown that, across economic, ethnic, and geographic lines, Reach Out and Read significantly impacts parental behavior and attitudes towards reading aloud, and young children who participate in the program achieve higher language scores.

Through Reach Out and Read patients six months to five years of age will receive an age appropriate book during their well-child exam. Family Health Center providers have shared that books are easily incorporated in the well-child exam and patients are excited to receive a brand new book. 322 books were distributed last fall through seven of sixteen Family Health Center clinics, books are available in English, Spanish and bilingual (English/Spanish).  In efforts to fulfill the Reach Out and Read model, Baylor Volunteers host story time during peak hours. Volunteers purchased bookshelves for our waiting area, and hosted gently used book drives for older children and adults.

Dr. Bhargavi Kola at Texas Tech School of Medicine at the Permian Basin, Department of Pediatrics, shares the following note about their program:

Bella is 5 years old and has been our patient for more than 3 years. She was inspired by a book during her first physical here at Tech and now she stops by my office with her mom to ask for a book. Bella has developed an intense love for learning through pictures and is all ready for school this academic year. She now tries to read books to her younger siblings who are 2 years and 4 months old respectively.

Our books (or should I say Reach Out and Read books) have inspired her to be a book lover. After I talked to mom about what books could do in improving her mental and emotional and language skills, she reads to them every day. Instead of playing on tablets or Iphones Bella's mom asks for books to keep the kids calm while waiting in the waiting area or the doctor’s office. She now reads to all her daughters, that includes an infant too! I see a very involved family and beautiful social skills in those girls. Reach Out and Read books have had an impact on their lives.

clinic spring 2017

Sofia is a 6 month old girl that we have been seeing since the newborn period. Sofia’s mom loves to read books to her ever since she was 2 months old. She is a well-developed child and per mom she tries to imitate sounds. Mom uses books to read and to help with her motor skills.  Mom was concerned that Sofia was not as active as other kids and she had reservations about her social developments. As we started giving books to her as early as 4 months, she beams with joy, makes sounds and babbles and even tries to handle the book herself. She has not only improved in her social skills but also in fine motor skills.

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 or Kristi Romero, MSc at

Spring 2017

Visit us at:

Newsletter Contributors

Jocelyn McConnell, M.Ed.
ROR-TX Director

Kristi Romero, MSc

Bang Pham
Web Developer IV

Subscribe to the ROR-TX Newsletter, click here!
Donate to
click here!

Donation Chart


facebookLike us on Facebook and share your thoughts with others about our research and work.

twitterFollow us on Twitter to receive live updates and news as it happens at Reach Out and Read.


Learn more about The Children's Learning Institute