Fred Upton to Read for Ready to Read

Aug 13, 2008 12:18:25 PM

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Kalamazoo, MI –

Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) will visit the Family Health Center (North), 117 W Paterson St, on Friday, August 22, 10:00-11:00 a.m. to see the Ready to Read early childhood literacy program in action and read to children.

Ready to Read encourages parents to read aloud to their children, beginning at birth. By sharing the joy of reading, parents help prepare their children to learn to read. Ready to Read gives books to newborns, prescribes reading with gift books at medical offices and human services agencies, and sends volunteers into the community to read aloud in clinic waiting rooms, shelters, and Head Start classrooms. Kalamazoo Public Library leads this community collaboration of more than 30 organizations.

Ready to Read reaches parents, children and the community with several programs. Through Books for Babies, Bronson and Borgess hospitals give each newborn a storybook, encourage their parents to read aloud to their babies with a list of baby-friendly books. Rx Reading pediatricians, nurses, social workers, educators, and other professionals prescribe reading and give young children books at 36 medical offices and human services agencies, including the WIC program and Loaves & Fishes’ food pantries. Volunteer Readers model book sharing and read aloud to children in clinic waiting rooms, family shelters, Head Start and PEEP classrooms. Volunteers read for two hours a week; training and books are provided.

Ready to Read participated in more than 20 community events in addition to hosting the annual Party in the Park to celebrate the joy of reading. Fifty community leaders and costumed storybook characters read to 1,430 preschoolers at this special storytime in Bronson Park on May 28, 2008.

To learn more about Ready to Read, please visit the website, www.kpl.gov/ready-to-read, or contact the coordinator, Andrea Enyedi, 269-553-7885.

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