Reach Out & Read Program Provides Over 3,700 Books to Kids in 2020

Exposure to language and reading through books is a key source of early learning. Books provide cognitive, emotional, and social benefits and create a launchpad for success. In fact, there is a direct link between early literacy skills and future educational attainment, health status, and earning potential. Despite these benefits, we know that many children don’t receive enough exposure to books at an early age. In the United States, about one-third of young children—and half of children living in poverty—arrive at kindergarten without the skills they need to do well in school.

In 2017, the Confluence Health Foundation partnered with several Confluence Health clinics throughout North Central Washington to launch Reach Out and Read. Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based program that integrates reading into pediatric care. Children between the ages of six-months and five-years old receive their very own book from their primary care provider at their annual well-child checkup. The books are high-quality and both age and culturally appropriate. Our clinics strive to provide classic books that children will cherish for years to come.

The importance of Reach Out and Read is two-fold. Not only does this book bring joy to young patients, but it’s also a useful diagnostic tool for physicians who assess the way children interact with the book to gage cognitive skills and development. In addition, the physician can use the book to start an important conversation with parents about the importance of reading aloud to children. Over the years, research has proven that Reach Out and Read has increased the amount that parents read to children and led to improved language scores among children that receive these books. That’s why Reach Out and Read has become a standard of care in pediatrics.

In 2020, the Foundation funded six Reach Out and Read programs at Confluence clinics, including Omak, Tonasket, Oroville, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Pediatrics, Wenatchee Valley Family Practice, and Central Washington Hospital Family Practice at Mares. Combined, over 3,700 books were distributed!

Although clinics that participate in Reach Out and Read receive discounted books as part of this program, the cost of sustaining Reach Out and Read at our clinics is considerable. That’s why we are so grateful to our donors that support the Reach Out and Read programs. Without them, Confluence could not maintain this beneficial program that gives so much to our patients.

If you would like to learn more about the program, email You can also support this important work by making a donation to the Confluence Health Foundation and including Reach Out and Read in the memo line. Every dollar you give will make a difference!

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