Did you know that Turn a Page. Touch a Mind. ® (TAP-TAM), the early literacy program in Kansas, is envied by many throughout the country? With federal and state funding getting cut for early literacy and other early learning programs, many don’t know how they are going to continue to offer services to children. Since the beginning, TAP-TAM has been supported by the Kansas Pediatric Foundation’s Early Literacy Endowment, and new reading sites have only been brought on that can be supported by the payout from this endowment fund. TAP-TAM was developed so that Kansas children will grow up with books today, tomorrow, and far into the future because literacy will always be an important part of growing up healthy in body and mind. Taking advantage of a child’s early years when their brain is growing is imperative for preparing them to succeed.
Today, over 300 physicians and other medical providers give a new, developmentally appropriate book to their patients at each well check visit from 6 months to 5 years, and take time to encourage parents to read with their child every day. In 2013 these TAP-TAM participating providers will distribute almost 100,000 books to Kansas kids! These books will have a significant impact by preparing our youngest Kansans to start school ready to learn to read. Children who are read to regularly have a higher vocabulary, a key factor in learning to read on time, and we know that this impact will continue through the Early Literacy Endowment for many generations to come.
Thank you to all of the KAAP members who have contributed to the growth of the Early Literacy Endowment, making it possible to continue to bring on new TAP-TAM providers each year, and expanding the reach of this important program. If you would like to be a part of this legacy of literacy in Kansas you can apply to become a TAP-TAM provider or contribute to the Kansas Pediatric Foundation’s Early Literacy Endowment at www.kansaspediatricfoundation.org.