1. Importance of keeping data – one book per child visit
2. Need additional funding - Target grants, local community grants, foundation grants are good sources for funding. Below is a generic grant application:
Description of project: Community Health Partners (CHP) is a medical clinic which serves south central Montana by providing health care for uninsured and low income individuals. CHP serves the most disenfranchised residents in Gallatin and Park counties. Of the 9,500 patients served last year (totaling 30,000 total visits), 71% are living in poverty (55% below the Federal Poverty Level and an additional 16% living at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level).
In an attempt to alleviate the root cause of poverty and poor health, CHP addresses social factors not considered in most other health care systems. Community Health Partners is requesting funding support for our Reach Out and Read program. During clinic visits, medical providers teach parents about the importance of reading to young children (ages 0 - 5) and give high quality children's books to their patients to take home. Parents learn that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to help their children start school ready to learn. Research has shown that the Reach Out and Read model of combining a doctor's recommendation along with giving a book for the child to take home has a significant effect on children's academic success. Prevention of school failure and increased parental involvement in their child's education are two expected outcomes of this project.
Community Health Partners consists of 5 sites: CHP Medical Clinic in Livingston, CHP Medical Clinic in Bozeman, CHP Medical Clinic in Belgrade, as well as dentist clinics in Livingston and Bozeman. Between all sites, we give out an average of 200 books per month. We are able to access low cost, high quality books which cost $2.50 to $3.00 per book. The total expense for purchasing books is $7,200 per year.
Budget: We are requesting $1,000 from _________ to help support this worthwhile program in Gallatin County (two medical and one dental site). 100% of _________ funds will be dedicated to book purchases. We have several other grant resources currently in place to help defray the costs of books. All program costs (salaries and administration expenses) will be provided by Community Health Partners.
We have enclosed CHP's Report to Our Communities and a flyer detailing Reach Out and Read. Please let me know if there is any additional information needed. I would also be happy to speak with your board.
3. Training needs to be on-going - Reach Out and Read has a great training onsite program to introduce the concept and importance of getting books into children's homes. This is not enough though. Medical providers are very busy and try to get a lot accomplished during visits and talking about reading can easily become "just one more thing". Short, on-going training sessions conducted at regularly scheduled clinic meetings help keep book distribution programs alive. Monthly e-mail blurbs citing studies of education, home libraries and health are an effective training tool. Bulletin boards, new books in break rooms, and sharing of data also keep the program energized.
Below is a sample training agenda: