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Volunteer Receives Award

07-14-2008 11:06 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: BookSpring

Mary Reynolds Champion of Early Literacy in Greater Austin Area

Mary Reynolds Champion of Early Literacy in Greater Austin Area

BookSpring Names Mary Reynolds “Outstanding Reach Out and Read Advocate”

AUSTIN, TX – BookSpring is proud to announce that Mary Reynolds has received the “Champion of Children’s Health and Literacy Award” for Outstanding Reach Out and Read Advocate. This award is an honor which recognizes individuals who make singular and outstanding contributions to the Reach Out and Read program in Central Texas.

Mary Reynolds, President of Around Austin, Inc. and member of the Rotary Club of Austin, was presented the award at her Rotary meeting in July by Mindy Gomillion, Executive Director of BookSpring. Ms. Reynolds, who passionately believes in the power of literacy and the importance of book ownership, is being recognized for phenomenal volunteer participation and for single-handedly donating many thousands of gently-used children’s books to ROR clinics each year.

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national program that trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at health check-ups from six months to 5 years. 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. In addition, low-income children exposed to Reach Out and Read show improvements in language scores, a critical component of school readiness.

Through Reach Out and Read, doctors at 26 participating healthcare clinics in Austin and the surrounding communities are expected to give more than 34,000 books to more than 25,000 of their youngest patients each year.

Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses distribute 5.4 million books to more than 3.3 million children and their families annually at 3,797 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics and health centers in all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia, targeting those centers which serve children at socioeconomic risk. Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read has trained more than 50,000 medical providers who have given advice and a new book at more than 16 million well-child visits.

BookSpring, created from the merger of Capital Area Reach Out and Read Reading Is Fundamental of Austin in March 2008, instills children with a love of reading and promotes books as a means to success. By offering a range of programs that support early literacy, BookSpring champions the value of reading and encourages parents to read to their children from birth on, resulting in stronger families and increased life-long opportunities for every child. For more information, visit and


2600 Greenbrook Parkway
Austin TX 78723
Mindy Gomillion, Executive Director
Diane Riehs, Director of Development
512.472.1791, ext. 108

A typical middle class child enters first grade with approximately 1,000 hours of being read to; while the corresponding child from a low-income family averages just 25 hours. Most children growing up in poverty do not grow up in homes with books.

Children served by Reach Out and Read receive 9 new books, are read to for 1,500 hours, and show a 6-month gain in language skills.

Reach Out and Read works!

Reach Out and Read has the power to change our world – one child at a time.

Our model is extremely effective. ROR takes advantage of the trusted relationship between doctors and parents. We show doctors how to use books to engage children in the exam room and doctors show parents how reading will build and strengthen the bond between them and their children.

Because the pediatrician is the messenger the message has more impact.

It is clear that doctors love giving out books, especially to children living in poverty who may not have any books at all. These books brighten the children’s homes, widen their world, and open up their lives.

Reach Out and read is a very simple yet powerful concept – we are not constructing buildings – we are buying books.

The real benefit of Reach Out and Read is so much bigger than the books. We are giving parents priceless parenting advice. We’re teaching them that the simple act of reading aloud is building the foundation of a strong and solid bond between them and their children. A bond that will help that child succeed in school and in life.

Our program is currently reaching only 20% of the children growing up in poverty. Our goal is to reach them all. You can help us reach more children so we can seize upon every child’s potential and capacity for development; so we can send all children to school ready and eager to learn.

BookSpring distributed books to approximately 45,500 children last year in the Greater Austin area of Central Texas.

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