Alabama Campaign for Grade Level Reading partners with Reach Out and Read-Alabama

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On July 1, Governor Kay Ivey, along with Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education Secretary Barbara Cooper, Alabama Medicaid Agency Commissioner Stephanie Azar, and Alabama Public Health State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris announced the expansion of Reach Out and Read-Alabama with funding to expand services to children living in Macon, Marshall, Monroe, Jefferson, and Randolph counties, the five pilot counties for the governor’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiated last July.

Through our program, children in the pilot areas will receive their own brand-new books at each well-child visit, encouraging them to be seen by physicians on a regular basis.

Children from the pilot counties are served by the following practices:

Jefferson
Birmingham Pediatric Associates
The Children’s Hospital of Alabama
Midtown Pediatrics
Pediatrics West Bessemer
Pediatrics West McAdory

Jefferson County Health Department
Central Health Center
Eastern Health Center
Western Health Center

Newborn Follow Up Program
Nurse Family Partnership of Central Alabama
University of Alabama Birmingham Primary Care Clinic
Simon-Williamson Clinic Pediatrics
Tots N Teens Pediatrics

Macon
Southeast Pediatrics

Marshall
Kids R Us Pediatrics
Marshall County Pediatrics

Monroe
Monroe County Hospital
Primary Care Center of Monroeville

Randolph
Anniston Pediatrics
Model City Pediatrics
Purohit Pediatric Clinic

With a current state average of 53 percent of children not proficient in reading by the fourth grade, in these selected counties, the percentage of children not proficient in reading by the fourth grade is even higher: Macon county – 77 percent
Marshall county – 55 percent
Monroe county – 70 percent
Jefferson county — 56 percent
Randolph county – 63 percent

“We feel that the expansion of Reach Out and Read-Alabama will greatly benefit the children living in these areas. Not only will children be introduced to reading much earlier than they would in a traditional school environment, but they will receive their own brand-new books at each well child visit, encouraging children to be seen by physicians on a regular basis,” Amy Crosby, Reach Out and Read-Alabama statewide coordinator, states. “Our hope is that the combination of routine healthcare visits with a book and discussions about the importance of reading will result in the development of a relationship between physician and family creating an overwhelmingly positive effect on the children’s reading proficiency in these counties.”

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