By Amy Erickson, Executive Director
Reach Out and Read Georgia
As we embark on the journey of a new year, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. We are energized and optimistic for all that is to come! The season of giving brought many donations from so many of you and for that we are grateful. On behalf of Reach Out and Read Georgia, we wish all our pediatric partners, providers, children, families and supporters a wonderful New Year! It is with deep appreciation that we reflect on the collective impact of your generosity.
Thanks to your unwavering support, Reach Out and Read Georgia has reached unprecedented milestones in 2023. This past year, we experienced record breaking fundraising success, expanded our reach with the addition of 17 new pediatric sites, and distributed a remarkable 223,000 books to children in need. Your generosity has been the catalyst for these achievements, and we are profoundly grateful for your commitment to our cause.
Looking ahead, the future of our organization is exceptionally bright. Our recent sponsorship of Voices for Georgia’s Children: Big Voice for Children Awards and participation in the Learn4Life State of Education in Metro Atlanta 2023 event were wonderful ways to engage with Atlanta’s businesses and philanthropic partners. As we head into 2024, we hope to strengthen our connections with all our strategic partners who share our commitment to shedding light on educational disparities among children aged birth through five. Our New Year’s resolution encapsulates a simple yet powerful objective: to provide more books to more children and resources to families through trusted pediatricians, clinicians, and providers. Our Building Connections Begins at Birth initiative is in full swing with a lofty goal of sharing more books at the earliest stages of a child’s life – lots more to come on this front!
In the coming months, we are excited to further our mission by actively engaging with Georgia legislators during the upcoming legislative session. Our commitment to advocating for the needs of children remains steadfast, and we are dedicated to collaborating with lawmakers to address educational disparities and promote literacy initiatives. By fostering these essential partnerships, we aim to amplify our impact and create lasting positive change for the children and communities we serve. In recent months, we’ve engaged in discussions with numerous legislators, including State Senators Billy Hickman and Blake Tillery, as well as Representative Matt Dubnik and Katie Dempsey. In the upcoming month, our meetings will extend to include Representative Chris Erwin and additional representatives, as we persist in our endeavors to raise awareness among legislators regarding the significance of investing in early-life interventions such as Reach Out and Read Georgia, spanning from infancy to age 5. On March 4th both the House and Senate will officially acknowledge Reach Out and Read Georgia at the Georgia Capitol, marking the commencement of Read Across America month alongside Reach Out and Read Day.
May the upcoming year bring abundant joy, love, and treasured memories. Your steadfast support has been the foundation of our achievements, and we look forward to the chance to keep making a positive impact in the lives of children in the year ahead.
Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. Here’s to a prosperous and purposeful year for all!