Cicilline Reads Aloud to Young Children at East Bay Family Health Care in Support of Reach Out and Read School Readiness Program; Applauds Local Business Leader for Stepping Up to Support Program

Oct 19, 2011 Issues: Education
Cicilline Reads Aloud to Young Children at East Bay Family Health Care in Support of Reach Out and Read School Readiness Program; Applauds Local Business Leader for Stepping Up to Support Program

East Providence Family Health Care participates in Reach Out and Read, a program that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  Reach Out and Read’s medical providers advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and give free books to children at checkups from 6 months to 5 years. The books are new, carefully chosen, and developmentally-appropriate. Through Reach Out and Read, each child starts kindergarten with a home library of up to 10 books and a parent who has heard at every health supervision visit about the importance of books and reading.

“Raising children in a reading environment is vital for their development and lifelong success. The Reach Out and Read program is exactly the type of resource we need here in Rhode Island – reaching almost 35,000 of Rhode Island’s young children and providing them with early access to the tools they’ll need to succeed. I am proud to join today with the medical professionals, parents, and supporters who make Reach Out and Read such an important part of the education and development of our children,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline.

Congressman Cicilline also took a moment to recognize Michelle Collie, owner of Performance Physical Therapy and sponsor of the Reach Out and Read program at East Bay Family Health Care, who toured the facility with the Congressman. Performance Physical Therapy was one of the first local businesses to participate in Reach Out and Read RI’s “adopt-a-site” program. A business who adopts a site is responsible for providing all of the book and operational expenses associated with running the ROR program at the adopted site.

With the economy struggling to right itself after such a significant downturn, RORRI was looking for ways to engage corporations that would be mutually beneficial. “Local businesses want to be empathetic in these hard economic times to the people living in their community. They want to give back in a meaningful way.” said Susanna Beckwith, RORRI’s Executive Director.

Ms. Collie was thrilled to learn about the RORRI adopt-a-site opportunity. “Performance Physical Therapy is committed to supporting our local community of neighbors, employees and their families. As one of the first businesses to adopt a site, I want to encourage other local businesses to join us in supporting one of the most basic and critical needs, literacy. Together, we can provide an opportunity for the children in our community to have the developmental tools for a brighter future.”

Reach Out and Read Rhode Island serves children at 44 locations across the state of Rhode Island, reaching close to 35,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers each year. Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses distribute 6.2 million books to more than 3.9 million children and their families annually at 4,535 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics and health centers in all 50 states, targeting those centers which serve children at socioeconomic risk.  Reach Out and Read has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention. For more than a decade, studies have indicated that parents who get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home.  More than 26,500 medical providers nationwide currently participate in Reach Out and Read.  For more information, visit

East Bay Family Health Care is a program of East Bay Community Action Program. East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) is a private, nonprofit 501 (c) (3) corporation that provides a wide array of health and human services to the residents of Rhode Island’s east bay. The Community Health Centers provide affordable health care to Newport County, Bristol County and East Providence residents. Services offered include: family medicine, pregnancy testing, immunizations, care for acute illness, health screenings and general community education and referrals.