Raising Readers in Wyoming encourages parents to read to
their young children by providing beautiful new books as part of the
well child health care visits.
When parents are given “prescriptions” to read by their child’s
doctor they are four times more likely to read and share books with
Books are provided to children at their well-child health care visits or immunizations at ages 2, 4, 6, 12, 15, & 18 months and 2, 3, 4, 5 years of age.
Raising Readers in Wyoming, Inc. provides age-appropriate books. The
books are chosen by a group of Wyomingites who have expertise in
early childhood and/or literacy. The committee consists of a
children’s librarian, a speech language pathologist, a retired
University of Wyoming professor who taught children’s literature,
and a representative from the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Books in Spanish are chosen by a smaller group of
people that includes a college instructor of Spanish.
Raising Readers in Wyoming, Inc. distributes books in all 23 Wyoming Counties.
Participating medical providers include pediatricians, family practice physicians, and county public health offices.
In response to the leading research on early brain
development, the Governor's Early Childhood Development Council
adopted Raising Readers in Wyoming in 2002. This program encouraged
parents to care for both mental and physical well-being by reading
to their young children and getting them age-appropriate
immunizations. PacifiCorp Foundation for Learning
(the philanthropic arm of Pacific Power) was looking for an early
childhood literacy program to fund in the states served by Pacific
Raising Readers became an independent non-profit
A grant was written by the Department of Family Services to
PacificCorp Foundation for Learning and was awarded to the Raising
Readers in Wyoming program. Child Development Services of Wyoming,
Inc. was chosen as the grant administrator and provided an incubator
for the program during its first three years.
Raising Readers in Wyoming is modeled after Raising Readers, a
successful health and literacy program in Maine.
Unlike the overflowing bookshelves
of wealthier families, 61 percent of low-income families own no
age-appropriate books, according to a 2009 study commissioned by
Jumpstart on "America's Early Childhood Literacy Gap."
"Young children's literacy understandings in pre-school or the
early stages of year one relate strongly to later measures of
literacy achievement." -Janelle Young Enhancing Emerging Literacy
Potential for Young Children. Australian Journal of Language and
Literacy Vol 32 No 2 June 2009
"For 80% percent of children, simple immersion in reading and
books will lead to real, independent reading by school age."
-Paul Kropp How to Make Your Child a Reader for Life
"Children need exposure to new works. It helps develop the
auditory cortex to better discriminate between and among sounds.
After puberty the potential cells for language development have
been used by other functions." Eric Jensen Teaching with the Brain
(Learning to read is) "...the greatest single effort that the
human mind undertakes, and he must do it as a child." John
"...early literacy development does not simply
happen; rather, it is part of a social process, embedded in
children's relationships with parents, siblings, grandparents,
friends, caretakers, and teachers." Joan Brookes McLane and
Gillian Dowley McNamee The Beginnings of Literacy, Zero to Three
Journal, September 1991
"Family members, caretakers, and teachers play
critical roles in early literacy development by serving as models,
providing materials, demonstrating their use, offering help,
instruction, and encouragement, and communicating hopes and
expectations." Joan Brookes McLane and Gillian Dowley McNamee The
Beginnings of Literacy, Zero to Three Journal, September 1991
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