Mayor Hodges: Minneapolis Will Become a ‘Reach Out and Read Bookend City’ in 2017


January 12, 2017 (MINNEAPOLIS) — In 2017, 100 percent of Minneapolis health clinics serving young children will promote early childhood literacy in pediatric exam rooms through Read Out and Read Minnesota. That is the intent behind Mayor Betsy Hodges’ commitment to Minneapolis becoming a “Reach Out and Read Bookend City” in 2017. 

Reach Out and Read Minnesota incorporates books into pediatric care in clinics throughout the state and encourages families to read aloud together, giving young children a foundation for success. The nonprofit organization has been a key implementing partner in the “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign that Mayor Hodges launched in June 2016 in partnership with Too Small to Fail, a joint initiative of The Opportunity Institute and the Clinton Foundation. Talking is Teaching is aimed at getting parents to talk, read, and sing to their babies in an effort to boost the early brain development and language skills of children in Minneapolis.

Today Mayor Hodges announced an important next step in the Minneapolis Talking is Teaching campaign: becoming a Reach Out and Read Bookend City, a designation that signals that 100 percent of eligible pediatric and family practice clinics in a given city are participating in Reach Out and Read.

Minneapolis will be the nation’s largest city to earn the “Bookend City” designation, when all 33 of the city’s eligible clinics are active Reach Out and Read Minnesota participants. To date there are 27 clinics (see list below) that have distributed 472,000 books in the city of Minneapolis through Reach Out and Read Minnesota.  

“Research shows that 80 percent of brain development happens before a child reaches three years old,” said Mayor Hodges. “Talking, reading and singing to young children is so critical for brain development, creating a foundation for learning and success. Soon health care providers in every single Minneapolis pediatric and family practice clinic will be giving books to young children at well-child visits and encouraging parents to read aloud to their children. I want to thank Reach Out and Read Minnesota and all of the participating clinics for their hard work. I look forward to helping to engage the remaining clinics in this exceptional program.”

As part of today’s announcement, Mayor Hodges read to a group of young children at the University of Minnesota Physicians Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic in the Phillips neighborhood. A participant in Reach Out and Read Minnesota for six years, Smiley’s Clinic engages in all of the organization’s “best practices” such as 100 percent participation by providers and residents, a designated reading nook in the clinic waiting room, the use of culturally appropriate books, among others.

How Reach Out and Read works
Participating medical providers offer the Reach Out and Read intervention, which includes a developmentally appropriate book, to all children at each well-child visit from six months through five years of age. They are also urged to begin talking with parents about the importance of talking, singing, reading, and playing with their babies as early as the newborn visit.

Reach Out and Read Minnesota Sites in Minneapolis
Allina Health Clinic - East Lake Street
University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine
Cedar Riverside People’s Center
Children’s Minnesota - Minneapolis Clinic
Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC)
Fairview Clinics - Bloomington Lake Mpls
Fairview Clinics - Hiawatha
Fairview Clinics - Riverside
Fairview Clinics - University Children’s
Fairview Clinics - Uptown
HCMC - East Lake Clinic
HCMC - Whittier Clinic
Hennepin County Medical Center Pediatric Clinic
HealthPartners Nokomis Clinic
HealthPartners Riverside Clinic
Hennepin County Public Health Clinic
Hennepin Healthcare for the Homeless – Public Health Clinic
Indian Health Board of Minneapolis
Native American Community Clinic
Neighborhood HealthSource-Central Clinic
Neighborhood HealthSource-Fremont Clinic
Neighborhood HealthSource-Sheridan Clinic
NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center
Park Nicollet Minneapolis Clinic
People Serving People
St. Joseph’s Home for Children
University of Minnesota Physicians/Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic

About Reach Out and Read Minnesota
Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. The nonprofit organization partners with 231 clinics in 50 of Minnesota’s 87 counties and serves 138,000 young children statewide through the commitment of more than 1,5000 health care providers who participate in the program. Since 1997, Reach Out and Read Minnesota has distributed more than 1.3 million books statewide; 472,000 books in the city of Minneapolis alone.

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Published Jan 12, 2017