In today’s high speed, image based society, children are reading less and less. Television, video games, and the internet are swiftly replacing books and magazines as the entertainment of choice, and fewer families own books. This is especially true for families struggling to get by: almost one in four lower income families have fewer than ten books of any kind, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Fewer books mean fewer opportunities for parents to read to their children, an activity that both improves the relationship between parent and child and also exponentially improves a child’s future learning ability. Literacy is an incredibly important aspect of any child’s development, and an Indianapolis non-profit organization called Reach Out and Read Indiana is looking to get Indiana children reading, writing, and learning, all while having fun and bonding with their parents.
|Promotional video for the Reach Out and Read program; Reach Out and Read Indiana will be hosting its sixth annual fundraiser in Indianapolis on September 24|
On September 24, Reach Out and Read Indiana will be hosting its sixth annual fund raising event at Fairbanks Hall in Indianapolis, an education and research center just off the Indianapolis Central Canal. This Indianapolis event will feature a buffet, silent auction, children’s raffle, and crafts. Since it’s so close to the Canal Walk, the whole event will have a fun water theme. Water crafts for kids at the event include treasure hunt water bottles, eggshell jellyfish, popsicle sail boats, and more; there will also be games and face painting. Far from a boring old banquet or luncheon, Reach Out and Read Indiana’s sixth annual fundraiser will be an Indianapolis thing to do that puts the “fun” in “fundraiser.”
In addition to all these activities, Reach Out and Read Indiana’s fundraiser will have book signings and interviews with several popular Indiana authors, including Peggy Archer (Name That Dog!, Turkey Surprise), Nathan Clement (Drive), Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf (Sweet Sister Moon, Blue Eyed Grass), and several more. The Indianapolis health community is serious about Reach Out and Read Indiana’s goals: Mr. and Mrs. Dan Evans, President and CEO of the Clarian Health Partners, will be honorary chairs for the event.
Reach Out and Read Indiana was founded in 2001 with 12 program sites spread around the Hoosier state. Over the past nine years, the organization has expanded to include 145 program sites in 46 counties that serve over 160,000 children. The fund raising events have also grown in popularity in Indianapolis society as more and more benefactors see the need for children’s literacy: Reach Out and Read Indiana’s first fund raising event attracted 40 participants, while last year’s event at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis brought in 120 adults and 50 children.
Currently, less than half of parents in the United States read regularly to their children, and 34% of children entering kindergarten lack the basic groundwork for literacy. The Reach Out and Read program is a simple, proven framework that’s designed to improve these numbers. During regular childhood checkups, doctors and nurse practitioners encourage parents to read to their children. Children from six months to five years are then given a free book to take home and keep. The program is primarily targeted to lower income families who may not be able to afford books; it’s been proven that lower income children without access to books have, on average, a 3,000 word listening vocabulary. Compare that to the 20,000 word vocabulary of students above the poverty line, and you can see why Reach Out and Read is such an important cause.
Reach Out and Read Indiana’s sixth annual fundraiser is vital to the continued success of Indianapolis children, especially those living in poverty. Sponsored by the Clarian Health Network, the Riley Children’s Foundation (the organization behind the Riley Children’s Hospital), and the Hoosier Alliance, Reach Out and Read Indiana still needs your support to be successful. Funds raised at Reach Out and Read Indiana’s fund raising event will be used to buy more books and give literary guidance to children and parents around the state.
This Indianapolis education event takes place on Friday, September 24th from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m at Fairbanks Hall, part of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 3 to 12, and absolutely free for children under 2. You can purchase your tickets at the door or by getting in touch with Lisa Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.822.7302.
For more information on Reach Out and Read Indiana and the program’s sixth annual fundraiser, please visit Reach Out and Read’s homepage.
Reach Out and Read Indiana Sixth Annual Fundraiser
Friday, September 24, 5:30 – 9:30
Tickets: $35 (adults), $15 (children), free for children under 2
340 W 10th St
Indianapolis, IN 46202