AT&T Provides $5,000 Grant To Altru Health Foundation To Support Reach Out And Read Literacy Program
Sen. Laffen Lauds Efforts to Boost Literacy
GRAND FORKS, N.D., June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T today announced a $5,000 grant to Altru Health Foundation to support the Reach Out and Read® Program, an early literacy program developed by pediatricians and educators to encourage literacy development.
Altru Health Foundation will use the funds to purchase age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive books for children visiting the pediatric department, Family Medicine Residency and East Grand Forks Migrant School. The books are given to children to encourage reading in the home and to set a foundation for literacy and lifelong learning.
“This is an important issue for all of our children and their families, and we’re delighted that a company like AT&T supports literacy and the Reach Out and Read program,” said Jon Green, executive director, Altru Health Foundation.
“Many families lack the money to buy new books for their children,” said Sen. Lonnie Laffen. “AT&T and Altru Health System’s support for the Reach Out and Read program is a great way to help those families and instill a love of reading in their children.”
“AT&T is proud to support the Reach Out and Read program and applaud Altru Health System for its leadership around this important issue,” said Cheryl Riley, director of External Affairs- AT&T North Dakota. “As a corporate citizen in North Dakota, AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives.”
A National Commission of Reading study reported that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for literacy development and eventual reading success. Studies have shown children who are read to from an early age are more successful at learning to read. 16% of parents of children age three years and younger do not read at all with their children, and 23% do so only once or twice a week. Percentages are even lower among low-income families, whose children face the highest risk of literacy problems.
Reading difficulty contributes to school failure, which increases the risk of absenteeism, leaving school, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy — all of which perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.
Educators and developmental psychologists have long considered reading aloud to children important in helping those children develop early literacy skills.
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About Altru Health System
Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, a large home care network, and a congregate living facility. It employs more than 200 physicians and 3,800 staff and has an annual net operating revenue of more than $400 million.
About Reach Out And Read
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.
Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. The 3.8 million families served annually by Reach Out and Read, read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, with stronger language skills, and better prepared to succeed.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.