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March 2021 Monthly Musing

Read Across Iowa

Read Across Iowa will launch March 1 and begin a month-long celebration to bring the joys of reading to kids of all ages. Agriculturally themed Read Across Iowa events will be held across the state and will feature books and materials about agriculture that will appeal to all readers.

“Starting at birth, reading to children is an investment with a life-long return,” said Constance Beecher, an associate professor of education and extension specialist at Iowa State University. “Early reading and talking with children is essential to a strong start in life.”

Research shows that one of the strongest predictors of school success is reading to children and having books in the home, Beecher said. Children who read and listen to books hear a greater variety of words - up to 50% more - leading to a better vocabulary than those who watch media. Children raised in homes with more than 500 books spent three years longer in school than children whose parents had only a few books, but even homes with 25 books have been associated with completing two more years of school than having no books in the home.

Read Across Iowa is organized as a collaborative effort between the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa 4-H Youth Development and the Iowa State Education Association.
More resources to celebrate Read Across Iowa can be found at https://www.iowaagliteracy.org/Tools- Resources/Other/Read-Across-Iowa or you can also visit https://www.readacrossamerica.org/. Happy Reading!   

Free Support for Children with Disabilities

Rent or respite care? Groceries or adaptive clothing? For parents of children with disabilities, choosing between their family’s basic needs and disability-related items can often be difficult. Many services, devices and equipment are available to aid in development and improve a child’s quality of life. Unfortunately, insurance and other programs may only cover a portion of the cost, or perhaps not at all.   

The Children at Home Program may be able to help families with some of these expenses. *

Children at Home is a non-profit program of the Iowa Family Support Network and can help families caring for a child (up to age 22) with a disability by providing financial assistance for items or services not covered by other programs.

Examples may include: special adaptive devices, out-of-area travel expenses, respite care or educational seminars for caregivers, special camps and items to make your home safe or more accessible for a child. If an item or service provides a direct benefit to a child and is related to the child’s disability, families may qualify for a minimum of $700 in assistance per child annually.

FUNDING IS AVAILABLE! CONTACT US TODAY! If you have questions about this program or to refer someone to apply for assistance, please contact the Iowa Family Support Network:

1-888-IAKIDS1 (1-888-425-4371)
IAFamilySupportNetwork@Everystep.org (email)
IAFamilySupportNetwork.org (website)

*Income guidelines apply