Release Date: 08.13.2012 | Location: All Metro Atlanta | Organization: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Supports Expansion of Reach Out and Read
$200,000 Grant Promotes Early Literacy and School Readiness Across Georgia
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has awarded Reach Out and Read, a national school readiness organization, a $200,000 grant to expand its programs in Metro Atlanta and assist 57 sites across Georgia.
The funding, which will come over three years, will allow Reach Out and Read to enroll 4,000 additional Fulton County children and their parents in their program, providing them with 16,000 new, developmentally-appropriate books and early literacy advice during pediatric checkups. The families targeted for Reach Out and Read will be primarily families living in low-income communities.
Additionally, the investment will enable Reach Out and Read to establish an Atlanta-based state office, staffed by a full-time Executive Director and Program Director.
The state office will implement an aggressive fundraising campaign to ensure program growth and sustainability, provide support to the 57 Reach Out and Read sites in Georgia, and serve as the liaison to the volunteer pediatricians statewide who provide Reach Out and Read in their practices.
“We are thrilled to support Reach Out and Read and its critical work to promote early literacy in Georgia,” said Penelope McPhee, president of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “This organization truly helps children get on track for success in life at an early age.”
In Georgia, Reach Out and Read serves 63,898 children annually via 57 health centers, hospitals, and pediatric centers. Medical providers distribute 100,302 brand-new books each year. Families who participate in Reach Out and Read read together more often, parents are more engaged in their children’s education, and children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.
“On behalf of the children and families we serve in Georgia, we are incredibly grateful for the support of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation,” said Reach Out and Read CEO Earl Martin Phalen. “Our broad evidence base shows that if you intervene in the first five years of life and partner with parents, you can dramatically improve the early literacy skills of a child, putting them on the right path for success in school and in life. Through its tremendous generosity, the Blank Family Foundation is making success possible for thousands of children in Georgia.”
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 more than 4 million children and their families served annually by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses distribute 6.5 million books to children at 4,946 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics, and health centers in all 50 states, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Visit www.reachoutandread.org for more information.
About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation:
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to improve the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in early childhood development, education, green space, and the arts and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Blank co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $250 million to various charitable organizations. Visit the Foundation web site for more information at www.BlankFoundation.org.
Contact Name: Donovan Lee-Sin
Company: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation