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Congressman Frelinghuysen Joins NJ Pharmaceutical & Medical Technology Industry in Delivering 1,000 Books to Dover’s Children

Bridgewater, NJ, October 15, 2008 — Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) today joined with New Jersey′s pharmaceutical and medical technology industry in delivering 1,000 new children′s books to the Zufall Health Center, 17 S. Warren St. in Dover to distribute to their youngest patients.  The center participates in Reach Out and Read, a national children′s literacy program in which doctors give books to infants, toddlers and preschoolers at check-ups and advise their parents about the importance of reading to their children.

The donated books were delivered to the Dover site under a partnership between New Jersey′s pharmaceutical and medical technology companies and their trade association, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ), with Reach Out and Read.

HINJ member companies have pledged to provide $100,000 per year for three years to support existing Reach Out and Read sites in New Jersey, expand the program to serve more at-risk children, and establish an infrastructure to help the program grow and sustain itself in New Jersey.

“Reading is vital to a child′s success in the classroom and in life,” said Rep. Frelinghuysen.  “I am proud to be involved with Reach Out and Read, an organization that does such great work throughout New Jersey.  It is essential that we stress the importance of reading to children at a young age and encourage them to make it a life-long habit.”

“As a major partner of Reach Out and Read, New Jersey′s pharmaceutical and medical technology companies have made a multi-year commitment to expand and enhance the program,” said HINJ President Bob Franks.  “This is the second year of our partnership.  Last year we donated 37,000 new children′s books to Reach Out and Read providers throughout the state.  This year, we have committed to delivering a minimum of 45,000 books.  We are pleased to visit these sites to show our support for this wonderful program. Our donation today totals $3,000 — that is 1,000 children′s books that will be distributed across Dover to children ages five and younger.”

Reach Out and Read focuses on the children at greatest risk — children aged 6 months to 5 years living at or near poverty.  Doctors participating in Reach Out and Read distribute carefully selected new, developmentally and culturally appropriate books — starting with board books for babies and moving on to more complex picture books for preschoolers.  Bilingual books are available in 12 languages.  Each child who participates in Reach Out and Read starts kindergarten with a home library of up to 10 books and a parent who has heard at every well-child visit about the importance of books and reading.

Research shows that the program really works.  Studies illustrate 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.

Low-income children exposed to Reach Out and Read show improved language development, a critical component of school readiness.  Children score 4 to 8 points higher on vocabulary tests, giving 2-year-olds a 6 month head start developmentally.  The only American literacy program featured at the recent White House Conference on Global Literacy and one of five organizations worldwide to be awarded a 2007 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) literacy award, Reach Out and Read is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Last year, New Jersey doctors gave away more than 96,000 books to over 70,000 of the state′s youngest low-income children at 48 Reach Out and Read sites.

Reach Out and Read Medical Director Perri Klass, M.D., says that the grant from New Jersey′s pharmaceutical and medical technology companies will make it possible to serve a greater number of New Jersey′s youngest at-risk children.  “We are grateful to the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey and its member companies for their commitment to the children of New Jersey and thrilled to see the books resulting from our partnership delivered to the Reach Out and Read sites in Dover,” Klass says.  “The grant has created great momentum for expansion of the Reach Out and Read literacy program in New Jersey.”

Nationally, thousands of doctors this year will give 5.4 million new books to 3.3 million low-income families in all 50 states, Washington, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Today, Reach Out and Read reaches about 25 percent of America′s most impoverished children.  For further information, please visit Reach Out and Read′s website at www.reachoutandread.org.

 

About the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey

The HealthCare Institute of New Jersey is a trade association for the research-based pharmaceutical and medical technology industry in New Jersey.  Founded in 1997, the Institute serves as a unified voice for the industry and seeks to build awareness of this industry′s impact on New Jersey′s quality of life and economic well-being. There are currently 28 members of the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey.

About Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a national, non-profit children′s literacy program that works with medical providers to reach the children at greatest risk — children aged 6 months to 5 years living at or near poverty.  Medical providers participating in Reach Out and Read give books to their youngest patients at check-ups and advise their parents about the importance of reading.  More than 20 million books have been distributed through Reach Out and Read, which currently serves 25 percent of the most impoverished children in the U.S. Reach Out and Read is one of five organizations worldwide to be awarded a 2007 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) literacy award.  The only American literacy program featured at the recent White House Conference on Global Literacy, Reach Out and Read is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Reach Out and Read has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention.  Peer-reviewed studies indicate 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. Low-income children exposed to the program have shown improvements in language development, a critical component of school readiness.  More than 50,000 doctors and nurses have been trained by Reach Out and Read since its founding in 1989. This year Reach Out and Read will provide 5.4 million new books to 3.3 million children at more than 3,797 health care sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  International replica Rolex submariner programs modeled on Reach Out and Read have been started in Italy, Israel, the Philippines, England, Bangladesh and Canada. For further information, please visit Reach Out and Read′s website at www.reachoutandread.org.

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