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Investing in Impact.
Through more than 250 program sites in medical clinics across Washington, we provide more than 117,000 children and their families in 31 counties with free books and resources that promote early childhood literacy.
Our evidence-based model is backed by a large and growing body of academic research. We utilize the existing medical infrastructure, to encourage supportive, educational conversations with parents on the importance of reading aloud and the impact on children’s brain development.
Click here to read our latest impact report.
books distributed annually
Reach Out and Read Washington could not serve the tens of thousands of families it does annually without the help of generous corporate, foundation, individual, and government partners. We are grateful for their contributions to make reading a priority for the children and families of Washington. Together we are fulfilling our mission to give young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
Introducing Reach Out and Read Northwest
We are excited to share that the Reach Out and Read teams in Oregon and Washington have unified regionally as Reach Out and Read Northwest.
As we look to the future, Reach Out and Read Northwest is poised to grow sustainably while continuing to deliver the highest level of program services backed by evidence-cased research and methods. Joining forces as a regional team leverages our core strengths and creates administrative efficiencies.
Meet Our Staff
Regional Executive Director
Contact Jessica Mortensen
Jessica Mortensen became the first Regional Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Northwest after overseeing the regionalization of Reach Out and Read’s programs in Oregon and Washington in the fall of 2021. She currently oversees a high-performing staff and provides strategic direction for more than 400 medical clinics that reach over 200,000 families annually at well-child visits. Jessica was Reach Out and Read Washington’s Program Director (2010–15), Deputy Director (2015–17), and Executive Director (2017–21).
During her tenure with Reach Out and Read Jessica has cultivated partnerships and relationships that support healthcare professional practice change. She played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of a program quality evaluation and improvement system that Reach Out and Read adopted nationally, and currently co-chairs the National Book Committee. She completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington and her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Art History at Whitman College.
Regional Development Director
Contact Alayna Herr
Alayna Herr joined Reach Out and Read Northwest as the Regional Development Director in 2022. She directs development programs in Oregon and Washington, working primarily on building and deepening relationships with foundations, corporations, and private individuals in support of Reach Out and Read Northwest’s regional mission.
Alayna’s career, which includes working in early literacy, college access, and higher education, has focused on ensuring that all children have the resources they need to succeed in whatever they hope to accomplish. She earned a law degree from Willamette University and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Born in the Midwest, Alayna has been an Oregon resident for more than 10 years and is based in Portland.
Regional Program Director
Contact Hannah Slaughter
Hannah Slaughter is the Regional Program Director at Reach Out and Read Northwest. She directs our multi-state program strategy, implementation, data, and analysis to ensure that clinical sites across the region have the leadership and support to offer high-quality programs to children and families. Hannah previously served as the Program Director for Reach Out and Read Washington from 2018–2021, and as a Program Specialist from 2012–2018.
Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Hannah worked with faculty, residents, and medical students at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center. She facilitated process improvement projects to ensure patient safety, implemented quality assurance standards, managed the Internal Medicine Residency Program’s annual recruitment process, and coordinated educational conferences and orientations. Hannah received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art Photography and a minor in Diversity from the University of Washington.
Contact Siri Hiltz
Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Siri Hiltz worked as a librarian in special, public, and government libraries. She implemented classification standards, community-led, and youth programs as a Tribal librarian; developed community partnerships as a public youth services librarian; and served as Youth Services Consultant for Washington State Library supporting youth services staff across the state. Siri received her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of British Columbia and Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Spanish from McDaniel College.
As a Program Manager for Reach Out and Read Northwest, Siri is excited to bring her passion for early learning and children’s literature to medical clinic settings. She looks forward to working with program sites to improve practices addressing early literacy, relational health between caregiver and child, social-emotional learning, and mitigating the impacts of adverse childhood experiences through the Reach Out and Read model.