CMC, Reach Out and Read promotes literacy in the community

Reach Out and Read has given over 40,000 books to children ages six months to five years at the Cambridge Medical Center.

Karin Barfknecht and Penni Hergert created this “Spot” quilt for the Reach Out and Read raffle.
Karin Barfknecht and Penni Hergert created this “Spot” quilt for the Reach Out and Read raffle.

In the exam room at a child’s well care visit, the primary care provider gives the child a new, developmentally appropriate children’s book to keep. The doctors and nurses have been trained in the developmental strategies of early literacy and encourage parents to read aloud to their children and discuss the importance of literacy.

Reach Out and Read is a program that started in 2006 at the Cambridge Medical Center. The mission is to prepare our youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to promote the importance of early literacy. The committee consists of eleven members with Chris Miller as the coordinator. This committee keeps the book bins filled in the doctors’ offices and waiting rooms, reads to pre-schoolers, and will begin giving new mothers an introductory “Baby’s First Book Bag.”

Reach Out and Read has an annual budget of $16,000. All of these funds come from donations from people and organizations in our community. Reach Out and Read encourages donations by hosting a complimentary celebration tea.

You are invited to our annual tea celebrating literacy with “Spot and His Friends.” A raffle and music and books and cupcakes will be part of the fun. Local quilters Karin Barfknecht and Penni Hergert have donated their talent by creating a beautiful and reversible “Spot” quilt. This quilt is the first prize in our raffle. The second prize is a children’s book basket and the third prize is a $50 gift certificate from Scout and Morgan Books. The raffle drawing will be at the tea on Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. at Riverwood Village, 909 South Dellwood, Cambridge. All are welcome.

Help promote literacy in the community by buying a raffle ticket ($5 or 3/$10) at Scout & Morgan Books, from a committee member, or by making a donation or by calling 763-688-9393. You do not have to be present at the tea to be a winner.