“The Department of Early Learning invests in Reach Out and Read Washington because we know that families trust their doctors to deliver information about healthy child development. Reach Out and Read is a smart, cost- effective way to reach families with important messages about early literacy.”

Dr. Bette Hyde, Director, Washington State Department of Early Learning

Our Mission

Reach Out and Read gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

What We Do

Reach Out and Read Washington State was created in 2007 to expand, support, and sustain a statewide network of Reach Out and Read programs as part of Washington’s Early Learning System. We recruit new clinics, and provide services to help doctors and clinics implement high quality programs. We work with state and local, public and private partners so that together we improve outcomes for children. We strive to reduce the opportunity gap, focusing first on children living in low-income families or who are otherwise at risk for poor educational outcomes. Reach Out and Read Washington State is a Regional Office of Reach Out and Read, Inc., a national, nonprofit 501c3 organization headquartered in Boston.

Staff

Dr. Sells is responsible for the overall strategy and implementation of all aspects of Reach Out and Read Washington State. Dr. Sells worked with Dr. Woodruff and the Reach Out and Read National Center to launch this statewide effort in late 2007. She is delighted to work with medical practices and our partners to help support young children and families across Washington state.

A fifth generation Washingtonian, Dr. Sells received her BA from Stanford University in Human Biology with a concentration in Child Development and Disability, and her MD from the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM). She trained in Pediatrics at the UW and Seattle Children’s, and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the UWSOM. After practicing primary care pediatrics in the Seattle area, she transitioned her career into early childhood in 2003. Dr. Sells and Reach Out and Read are active partners in early learning and health efforts in Washington and across the nation. She is thrilled to see growing support for early learning in Washington state, along with increasing recognition of the important role that doctors and other primary care health providers can play in improving educational outcomes for children.

Dr. Woodruff helps develop and implement our statewide recruitment and training programs, and is a vital strategic partner. As a pediatrician focused on child development and family life, Dr. Woodruff joyfully discovered the Reach Out and Read program. She brought it to her pediatric practice in 2001, and she and her Pediatrics NW colleagues will distribute 10,000 books this year at well child visits in Pierce County. She has been a Reach Out and Read trainer since 2004. She shares her enthusiasm for Reach Out and Read with other doctors, nurses and primary care providers. She helps make it feasible and fun for practices across the state to participate.

A northwest native, Dr. Woodruff has been caring for children in the South Puget Sound for nearly twenty years. She received her undergraduate degree from Seattle University, and her MD from the University of Washington. She trained in pediatrics in the Bay Area, at Mt. Zion Hospital, Stanford, and University of California San Francisco. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Food Connection Food Bank and the Pierce County Library Foundation, and is the Board President for Friends of Pediatrics Northwest.

Jessica directs the technical assistance and supportive services provided to Reach Out and Read programs across the state.  She joined Reach Out and Read in 2010, bringing extensive experience leading programs and supporting professionals in the health care and literacy fields.  Throughout her career Jessica has been instrumental in assisting medical and dental providers as they make practice improvements that are evidence-based, sustainable, and meet community needs at organizations such as the Washington Dental Service Foundation and the University of Washington.  Jessica brings a unique perspective to understanding the challenges and needs of our programs as she previously served as a Reach Out and Read program site coordinator.  Jessica earned her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and her BA from Whitman College in Walla Walla.

Ron provides direct support to new and established Reach Out and Read programs.  He works collaboratively with programs to ensure that the systems and resources are in place to support the delivery of a Reach Out and Read program that has fidelity to the proven program model. Ron joined Reach Out and in Read in 2013 with experience supporting student success and childhood literacy first with the Washington Reading Corps as an AmeriCorps member then, most recently, as the Associate Program Director of the Community Schools Collaboration (CSC) in the Tukwila and Highline School Districts.  At CSC he worked with families and K-12 students to provide expanded learning, family engagement, health services, and literacy, numeracy and homework support in the Road Map region of South King County.  Ron received a BA in Fine and Studio Arts from UCLA, and an MFA from University of California, Irvine.

Hannah provides direct support to new and established Reach Out and Read programs.  She works collaboratively with programs to ensure that the systems and resources are in place to support the delivery of a Reach Out and Read program that has fidelity to the proven program model.  Hannah joined Reach Out and Read in 2012 bringing expertise in professional development and medical education.  Previously she served as Program Manager with the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Harborview Medical Center where she supported resident recruitment, admissions, and orientation; coordinated medical student education activities; and implemented systems for quality assurance and patient safety.  Hannah earned a BFA and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, both from the University of Washington.

Awards & Endorsements

Recognition for Reach Out and Read’s Impact Nationwide
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