Congressman Dan Boren signs on to co-sponsor the Prescribe a Book Act

Recognizing that early literacy is critical to a child’s future success, Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., has signed on to co-sponsor the Prescribe a Book Act.

The Prescribe a Book Act (H.R. 820) – known as — authorizes a competitive grant program to support a pediatric early literacy initiative that trains doctors and nurse to encourage parents to read aloud to their children, serves children at high risk, is backed by research and has a demonstrated track record of proven intervention.

Reach Out and Read, which promotes school readiness and early readiness in Oklahoma and across the nation, meets all of those criteria.

“I am proud to sign on as a co-sponsor of ,” Boren said. “The best way to protect America’s economic security for the future is to invest in early education. It is crucial that we fund programs that are proven to prepare our nation’s children for success in school and in life.”

In Oklahoma, Reach Out and Read serves more than 22,000 children annually through 44 hospitals and health centers.

The Prescribe a Book Act was introduced by Rep. Donald Payne, D-New Jersey, and Sens. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The act authorizes $15 million in federal funding for FY 2012 to support school readiness initiatives.

is not new federal funding for a new program. Congress has supported pediatric early literacy for 12 consecutive years by funding Reach Out and Read through the Appropriations Bill.

The act is supported by a broad national coalition, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the International Reading Association, the National Center for Family Literacy and Ounce for Prevention Fund.

Updated 04-05-2011

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