REDMOND, OR -- Governor John Kitahaber traveled to Central Oregon yesterday, to highlight local innovations he says are helping grow the community. He stopped at St. Charles Family Care in Redmond to applaud the clinic's "Reach out and Read" program, which pairs each child who comes in for a check-up with a free book. The Governor says it signals to kids and parents the importance of reading. "It's very clear: Children who can read at grade level by third grade have a hugely increased chance of graduating high school. And, we know today to get a good job, you have to have a much higher level of education, training and skills. So, this is part of our goal to make sure every kid can earn a living wage job."
Dr. Peggy Philp brought the program to the Redmond clinic. She says research shows that those kids with higher education tend to be healthier, and part of setting them off on the right path at a young age is encouraging them to read.
The Governor also spoke at OSU Cascades about equity and opportunity. He began at Central Oregon Community College at OnBoard Dynamics, a start-up trying to make it easier to fuel natural gas vehicles. His message throughout the day was about helping communities foster new businesses and living wage jobs. "The role of government is not to solve problems, but to create a space where people can solve problems themselves. We can't do tha from Salem, we have engage people where they live, and that's exactly what's going on in Central Oregon." He told KBND News he's optimistic about the upcoming legislative session, and especially about funding education.