Reach Out and Read promotes literacy

Reach Out and Read is a program at the Cambridge Medical Center that helps prepare America’s youngest children to succeed in school.

Karin Barfknecht and Penni Hergert display the “Clifford” quilt created for the Read Out and Read raffle.

They partner with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. At each well child visit, children from 6 months to five years old are given a free, new book to keep by their care providers. The providers stress the importance of reading to children.

This program would not be possible without the support and dedication of the doctors, nurses, and administrators. Since the program began in 2005, over 30,000 books have been given to children at the Cambridge Medical Center.

The Reach Out and Read leadership committee consists of 12 volunteers with Chris Miller as the coordinator. This committee keeps the book bins filled in the doctors’ offices, reads to pre-schoolers, and supports the importance of early literacy. This program is funded entirely by donations.

The third annual Reach Out and Read complimentary tea will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m. at Riverwood Village, 909 South Dellwood in Cambridge. There will be a brief program featuring local children’s author, Lindsay Johnson. A raffle drawing and other items will be available at this fun event.

Local quilters, Karin Barfknecht and Penni Hergert, have donated their talent and skills to create our first prize in the raffle. The quilt has a “Clifford the Big Red Dog” theme and is colorful and beautiful. The second prize is a children’s book basket and the third prize is a $50 gift certificate donated by Scout and Morgan Books.

You can help promote literacy in the community by coming to the tea and buying a raffle ticket ($5 each or 3/$10). Tickets also available at Scout and Morgan Books, from a Reach Out and Read committee member, or by calling Chris Miller at 763-689-2398. You do not have to be present to win.