Vol. 7, Issue 4
October 2017
In This Issue
From the Executive Director

Happy Fall, RORRI Friends!
I write to you on October 22, and it still feels like summer! But the kids are back in school, and life has fallen into a more predictable rhythm. Every newsletter, I tell you how busy we are here at RORRI. This edition is no exception. Here's a quick peek:
  • You will read more about our Bookend City event below. Suffice it to say, we LOVE Pawtucket! 100% of practices in Pawtucket do the Reach Out and Read program-the first city in RI to achieve this designation! Senator Jack Reed and Congressman David Cicilline, two Reach Out and Read heroes on the national stage, were on hand for the celebration.
  • We hosted our annual Board retreat (with thanks to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI for use of their board room) and welcomed Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza to talk about what is happening in our capital city around early literacy.
  • We have a new program video in production; stay tuned for the world premiere!
  • And finally, we welcome WAKEFIELD PEDIATRICS to the Reach Out and Read RI family!
Apples, pumpkins, falling leaves, and all of the children's books written about them...ENJOY!

Hot Off the Press: RORRI's Impact

The most recent RORRI site reports show that Reach Out and Read-trained medical providers at 70 health care locations across the state now reach 40,838 RI children ages 6 months - 5 years old with our early literacy intervention (a 16% increase from last year), and they have distributed 82,536 books  in the last year (a 13% increase)! Thank you to every one of you who supports RORRI. YOU are the reason we are able to distribute books to young children, provide their families with literacy guidance and help prepare them for school!

RORRI Celebrates Pawtucket's
"Bookend City" Designation

Pawtucket's Bookend City Celebration was held on September 15th at Affinity Family Medicine, recognizing  Pawtucket as the first city in Rhode Island  to have 100% of pediatric practices participating in Reach Out and Read . All 11 pediatric and family medicine practices in Pawtucket, with 39 trained physicians, provide more than 3,400 Pawtucket children, 6 months - 5 years old  with a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care , and en couraging families to read aloud together. Glass bookends were presented to Pawtucket Mayor Daniel Grebien and his staff, to commemorate this important designation.

Dawn Hogan MD, Emily Harrison MD, Natalia Lukankina MD, Carol Cancro MD, Congressman David Cicilline, Mayor Grebien's Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo, Senator Jack Reed, Audrey Jorge RN, Abigail Wetzel NP, and Elizabeth Gomes MD celebrate Pawtucket's Bookend City designation

Elizabeth Gomes MD of Affinity Family Medicine
spoke eloquently about the impact of the Reach Out and Read program on the patients and families she cares for, and how her personal experience growing up as a lover of books in Central F alls and Pawtucket has enhanced her understanding of the importance of this early literacy initiative. Attendees included members of the RI congressional delegation and state legislature, Pawtucket funders, and representatives from our clinics in Pawtucket.

Photo: Elizabeth Gomes MD with her son Olavo, who will soon be a Reach Out and Read participant!

Welcome Dr. Pepitone!

We are thrilled to announce that Jessica Pepitone MD has joined the Reach Out and Read RI team as Medical Director ! Dr. Pepitone has been involved with RORRI since 2009, when she joined Providence Community Health Centers as a staff pediatrician. She quickly came to appreciate how important literacy promotion was, in the context of advocating healthy behaviors for children and their families. Dr. Pepitone has many favorite children's books including The Runaway Bunny, Charlotte's Web, Dinosaurs Love Tacos, and The Giving Tree.

Jessica Pepitone MD
"From a position of mutual respect, families and their doctor can formulate pathways to habits which will benefit their children for the rest of their lives. Creating a regular time for daily reading ensures increased exposure to word and thought. Sharing a book builds close bonds between children and other family members and helps children focus. It encourages exchanges of ideas and encourages expression of feelings. It can become a quiet haven in what often is a chaotic and hard to understand world."
Thank you to Diane DerMarderosian MD who served as RORRI's Medical Director for many years and received this year's Prescribe a Book Award at our annual gala.
South Kingstown Friendraiser
a Success!

A heartfelt thank you to RORRI board member Sandra Krupp  and South County resident Gail Meisner  for hosting our first ever "Friendraiser" in South Kingstown on October 12th. The evening highlighted the work of RORRI in 12 pediatric locations in South County, and attendees learned about our impact in their own backyard! We are very grateful to  Susan Stuart MD (Westerly), Heather Di Biasio MD (Wakefield),
and Jeanne Ziter MD  (Thundermist Woonsocket) fo r joining us to share how RORRI impacts the lives of their patients, and to lead a lively discussion on early childhood literacy. 

Party At PPL!
Save the Date: May 3, 2018

May 3, 2018 is the date of our annual celebration! 
We are excited to announce our new venue:
The Providence Public Library. 

Mark your calendar today!