FPG Scientists launch project, partner with Reach Out and Read

(The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute)

In January 2024, co-principal investigators Melanie Livet, PhD, and Caryn Ward, PhD, launched a two-year project, “Transforming Implementation Practice in Early Childhood through the Development of a Professional Learning Program to support Practitioners’ Implementation Capabilities.” This undertaking is a partnership between Reach Out and Read in North Carolina and South Carolina and the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (FPG) where Senior Research Scientist Ward serves as director and Implementation Scientist Livet is the implementation research lead.

Reach Out and Read is a national early literacy organization that works directly with pediatric care providers to share the lifelong benefits resulting from families reading aloud to their children every day. The project is designed to support the development of early childhood practitioners’ and clinicians’ ability to get children ready for kindergarten by improving implementation capacity of the Reach Out and Read intervention delivered in primary care and pediatric clinics. The project team will create a professional learning scope and sequence program on best practice implementation for early childhood practitioners and clinicians. This program will be available to all of Reach Out and Read’s program managers in the Carolinas.

Subsequently, the team will support and test the application of the knowledge and skills gained through the program by having the program managers assist with implementation of Reach Out and Read in four to five health clinics in Chatham, Orange, and Wake Counties in North Carolina. This project may demonstrate whether the availability of an accessible professional learning scope and sequence program has the potential to accelerate workforce development and use of implementation practices for early childhood interventions in clinical settings.

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(Image credit: The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute)