Reach Out and Read’s Impact in Georgia and Beyond

As we transition into the vibrant season of spring, we’re excited to reflect on the impactful work our organization has undertaken to support Georgia’s children. Throughout March, Reach Out and Read Georgia was abuzz with activities around National Reading Month, legislative advocacy, collaborative meetings, strategic planning sessions, site visits, progress report submissions, and more!

The Reach Out and Read Georgia team has been hard at work at the Georgia Capitol to encourage state legislators to include funding for our organization in the state budget. With daily meetings and frequent communication, we put our best foot forward to policymakers and demonstrated the necessity of our program. Thank you to the many providers that took the time to contact their legislators and communicate the essential nature of Reach Out and Read.

We’d also like to extend a special thanks to Representative Dubnik, Representative Hilton, Representative Erwin, Representative Schofield, Representative Jones, Senator Sims, Senator Hickman, Senator Dixon, and Senator Payne for their support of our program! Each of these legislators took time to meet with members of our team and some formally advocated for state funding for our pediatric literacy intervention. This year, we were grateful to have our dedication to early literacy recognized on both the House and Senate floor with special resolutions. We also received a commendation from Governor Kemp acknowledging the importance of our program in Georgia’s educational sphere.

In our legislative activities this year, we were included as a recommendation in the House Education budget, but then removed from the formal budget as it moved to the Senate. In spite of the support that we received from every legislator we met with, it was not enough to ultimately land us in the official budget. Regardless of this year’s outcome, we remain dedicated to our cause and will continue to hone our legislative strategy, engage our ROR providers to help heighten awareness and advocacy, and do all we can to improve the standards of Georgia’s literacy. One of the legislators we met with stated “shame on us if we don’t invest in this important intervention,” and we pledge to continue advocating and not be deterred from legislative advocacy in the future!

In Gratitude,

Amy Erickson, Executive Director