ATLANTA, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The James M. Cox Foundation announced a $300,000 grant to support Reach Out and Read Georgia's Rx for Success initiative. The grant will ensure 35,000 children receive high-quality books from their pediatricians.
Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness by partnering with pediatricians and giving new books to underserved children at their offices or clinics during regular checkups. Through the program, children ages six months to five years receive a new, age-appropriate book to take home, and doctors and nurses provide guidance to parents about the importance of reading aloud with their children every day.
"Reach Out and Read Georgia is an important early intervention that leverages the voice of hundreds of trusted doctors across the state to improve outcomes for the state's most vulnerable children," said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. "The research is clear that the single most important investment we can make is in the life of a young child."
Reach Out and Read recently received the prestigious David M. Rubenstein Prize, the top honor among the 2013 Library of Congress Literacy Awards, and is participating in Georgia Gives Day on Nov. 13. Reach Out and Read is a partner in key reading initiatives throughout Georgia including: Atlanta Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, The Mayor's Summer Reading Club and the Georgia Coalition for English Language Learners.
"Approximately 233,000 children are living in poverty under the age of 5 in Georgia. These children are the ones most at risk for falling behind in school or even worse, dropping out of school," said Reach Out and Read Georgia Executive Director Amy Erickson. "It is critical that we engage parents, and together, we can close the school readiness gap. Funding from the James M. Cox Foundation will significantly propel us towards our goal of ensuring all of Georgia's children by third grade are reading on or above grade level by 2020."
The Reach Out and Read grant complements several recent initiatives by the James M. Cox Foundation that focus on early childhood education. The Foundation has supported the Cox Pre-K Program at the Charles R. Drew Charter School, which serves as a research and design site for the Rollins Center of the Atlanta Speech School, and a Pre-K teacher training program at Teach for America Atlanta. In addition, Cox Media Group has provided in-kind support valued at more than $1 million to help raise awareness for Georgia's Quality Rated System for early child care programs.
About The James M. Cox Foundation
The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises' founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio's first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including: conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.
About Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read's thousands of doctors and nurses promote early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.
SOURCE The James M. Cox Foundation