The Budding Readers and Healthy Families – Ontario County Partnership began in 2018. It is now well established and has expanded, benefitting both programs and the families they serve. Healthy Families now serves Ontario, Yates & Seneca Counties and Budding Readers provides books for the families they serve and to use when instructing and modeling for parents about healthy parent-child interactions.

Healthy Families Ontario, Yates & Seneca Counties are part of Healthy Families New York, which in turn, is part of Healthy Families America. The program is based on the belief that early, nurturing relationships are the foundation for life-long, healthy development.

Healthy Families focuses on parents facing challenges such as single parenthood, low-income, childhood history of abuse, current or past issues related to substance abuse, mental health issues or domestic violence. Families are enrolled prenatally or within three months of life. Once enrolled, families receive services until at least the child’s third birthday, and preferably until the child’s fifth birthday. Budding Readers provides books while families are in the program, allowing home educators to model reading to young ones and to promote school readiness.

Services include at least one home visit per week for the first 6 months, after which visitation may decrease based on family needs and progress. They work to connect families with other services and programs that will help them be successful. The visits aim to establish an ongoing relationship between the staff member and family through which the staff member can teach and support healthy, positive parent-child interactions. The program goals are to:

  • reduce child maltreatment;
  • improve parent-child interactions and children’s social-emotional well-being;
  • increase school readiness;
  • promote child physical health and development;
  • promote positive parenting;
  • promote family self-sufficiency;
  • increase access to primary care medical services and community services;
  • decrease child injuries and emergency department use.

Want to learn more about the Healthy Families – Budding Readers Program?
Contact Tam Spitzer,, (585) 900 -1725, or
Elizabeth Mosher,, (585) 703-4894.

Budding Readers has been awarded a Mary Clark Thompson Community Health Grant which will help us provide quality books for families in the Healthy Families Program.

“You may have tangible wealth untold.  Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.  Richer than I can never be.  I had a mother who read to me.”

– Strickland Gillilan

“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.”

-Marilyn Jager Adams