This week, Hillary Clinton was in California to issue a challenge: We must end the “word gap!” We all know that low-income children are exposed to less reading material – which means fewer books and fewer words – than kids in more affluent families. This can leave a lasting deficit that extends far beyond a child’s first few years. As Clinton framed it, “The word gap leads to an achievement gap and has lifelong consequences.”
Solving this problem is harder than you might think, given that children develop letter and word recognition long before they typically enter the school system. We’re proud to be part of the solution. The VMC Foundation’s Reach Out and Read program provides free developmentally appropriate books to every child ages 0-5 at their medical check-ups, and physicians stress the importance of at-home reading to parents during the medical visit.
This year, the VMC Foundation’s Reach Out and Read program is on track to provide over 35,000 FREE BOOKS to children during their well child check-ups at the Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System. That is the highest number of books ever given away since we launched the program in 2004.
We’re helping close the “word gap” one child at a time, and you can help! Please consider making a contribution to our Reach Out and Read program here: https://ssl.charityweb.net/vmcfoundation/ReachOutAndRead.htm