Minneapolis aiming to be the state's next Bookend City
Starting in 2016, Reach Out and Read Minnesota has been partnering with the city of Minneapolis on Mayor Hodges' “Talking is Teaching” campaign, which focuses on the importance of early literacy. Our goal has been to make Minneapolis a “Bookend City,” one in which every single clinic in the city that provides well child exams has a top notch Reach Out and Read program. Achieving Bookend status is a milestone; it is not easy or simple to achieve. We are excited to announce that we have received support to work specifically on this effort in the coming year!
“Grotto Foundation’s Board of Directors is excited to partner with Reach Out and Read as they build on their outstanding momentum to expand their programming to 100% of primary health clinics in Minneapolis," Sonja Moore, Grotto's Executive Director recently announced. "Because this high-quality literacy program focuses on consistent implementation in every clinic and has shown solid outcomes in working with parents to teach the value of reading to young children, we are pleased to support their efforts to reach every family with young children in the city.” Grotto Foundation, Inc. is a family foundation that seeks to build community, support families and promote understanding and respect for others.
We are thrilled and thankful to have this generous support from Grotto, which we need to recruit clinics in the city that are not yet implementing the program. It will also help existing sites improve so that we can ensure that no matter where children receive primary medical care in the city Reach Out and Read will be there.
UPDATE FROM NOVEMBER 2017
A year ago we began a campaign to make Minneapolis a Bookend City – the first in the state and the largest in the country. We planned to add three new clinics; we added four. We wanted to train 75 medical providers; 146 completed the training! We made five clinics more literacy-rich by upgrading their waiting areas and exam rooms with everything from alphabet decals to cozy corner book nooks. And we’re still not done.
Reaching the Bookend milestone is a daunting challenge – recruiting six new clinics and then getting all 33 clinics within the city limits to meet Bookend standards is the equivalent of making sure every student in class not only gets an A but hands in extra credit work.
Though we haven’t crossed the finish line yet, we are in the home stretch. A grant from the Grotto Foundation enabled Reach Out and Read Minnesota to improve all aspects of our work from provider engagement and resident training to book inventory management and program logistics. We are proud that our sites helped us develop tools and techniques that are being shared with the Reach Out and Read national network and eagerly anticipate reaching our goal in the not too distant future.