EPIC Ready, Set, Read! in WNY

For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:

Jamie Rackl

Director of Family Engagement and Professional Development 


[email protected]

EPIC to Launch Ready, Set, Read! In Western New York

EPIC – Every Person Influences Children is excited to announce that it will be launching its Ready, Set, Read! (RSR!) program in Erie and Niagara Counties thanks to the generosity and partnership of The Health Foundation of Western and Central New York’s Innovation in Children’s Health and Well Being Initiative.  The Health Foundation of Western and Central New York has invested $25,000 so that EPIC can provide five Ready, Set, Read! series and serve over 50 families in Western New York over the next year and a half. EPIC will offer Ready, Set, Read! in affiliation with the Rural Outreach Center, Holy Cross Head Start, Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, the Community Action Organization of Western New York, and a community location to be determined.

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is an independent private foundation that advocates for continuous improvement in health and health care by investing in the people and organizations that serve young children and older adults. To learn more about the Health Foundation, its work, and the many other ways it is involved in the communities it serves, visit the Health Foundation’s website at www.hfwcny.org.

RSR! is comprised of five 90-minute sessions in which parents of children ages birth to eight learn hands-on techniques and gain essential knowledge to help them create positive learning experiences in their home and everyday surroundings.  During the workshops, parents will:

  • Learn how to help their children develop phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and reading comprehension.
  • Identify and explore individual learning styles for themselves and their children.
  • Learn how a child’s brain develops.
  • Find out why reading is critical from birth.
  • Understand how to select age-appropriate books and activities.


Workshop topics include:

  • Brain Development and Learning Styles
  • The World of Reading: Understanding How Children Learn to Read
  • Reading with Your Child
  • Reading is Everywhere: Learning through Play and Daily Life
  • Helping Your Child Succeed in School

While parents are engaged in their classes, children will be active in their own learn-play workshops. Then, parents and children will reunite for joint hands-on activities so that parents can practice the skills they just learned.

Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years. However, 1 in 3 American children enter kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics). RSR! was developed to teach parents (of any reading level) how to help their children become strong and avid readers. This fun and interactive series helps break the cycle of intergenerational illiteracy by giving parents practical guidance and building their confidence as parents, teachers, and advocates for their children.

EPIC is excited for the opportunity to share Ready, Set, Read! with Western New York. For more information about Ready, Set, Read! please call 716-332-4140. To learn more about EPIC, please visit www.epicforchildren.org.