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Ready to Read, Ready t o Learn: an educational initiative by Laura Bush

 Reading Speeches by Mrs. Bush
 Reach Out & Read

Ready to Read, Ready to Learn
Assist Parents and Caregivers in Having Timely and Useful Information That Will Help Them Help Their Children Learn

Healthy Start, Grow Smart
Parents need to know that children benefit greatly from many hours of being read to and playing with books prior to beginning school. Recent research on language acquisition and brain development shows that the groundwork for reading starts from the day a child is born.

The Healthy Start, Grow Smart magazine series is an effort to reach parents directly and provide them with critical information concerning the early cognitive development of their infants and toddlers, as well as health, nutrition, and safety.

Mrs. Bush initiated a similar effort in Texas and is now sharing this same helpful information with new parents across the country. The magazine continues its mission of sharing information and activities designed to stimulate infant brain development to help ensure that, from their earliest days, our children are building the cognitive abilities essential for learning once they reach school. It includes ideas for structuring age-appropriate activities that are rich in reading, language, and learning experiences, and it will be available in English and Spanish.

These booklets, distributed monthly during a child's first year of life, will be provided to new mothers who might not otherwise have easy access to this vital information.
Your Newborn
Your One Month Old

Put Reading First
Two publications were spotlighted by Mrs. Bush at the October 2001 Regional Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Cincinnati, hosted jointly by the Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky State Departments of Education. Like the White House Summit earlier in the year, this conference was designed to bring together educators, leaders, researchers and policy makers in the area of early childhood cognitive development to present the proven, research-based strategies parents and teachers can use to promote learning readiness among young children.

The first publication, Put Reading First: Helping Your Child Learn to Read (preschool through third grade), offers information on pre-reading and reading activities for parents and caregivers that research has shown helps children learn to read well. The second publication, Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for teaching Children to Read (kindergarten through third grade), puts research-based approaches for effective pre-reading and reading instruction into an easy-to-use format for teachers. Both publications are the work of the Partnership for Reading, a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute for Literacy, and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and are available on the web at