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"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."  —Emilie Buchwald

Remain in Touch is a dual-benefit program

Children who can read proficiently by 4th grade statistically have a greater likelihood of:​

- graduating from high school

- obtaining higher education

- earning a higher wage

- being a productive member of society

- not being incarcerated or on welfare

- entering school better prepared

- having fewer behavioral problems

- having better verbal skills

- staying drug and alcohol free

For the inmates

  • Studies of prisoners consistently suggest that those who maintain strong family and friendship ties during imprisonment and assume marital and parental roles upon release have lower recidivism rates than those who function without family ties, expectations and obligations.

Benefit:  Remain in Touch gives incarcerated parents a way to stay connected to family and maintain a relationship with their children.

  • Most incarcerated parents have real concerns about their children's welfare.

Benefit:  Remain in Touch allows incarcerated parents to have a parental role. Their audio recordings act as a surrogate way to read bedtime stories and have one-on-one time with their children.

  • A high percentage of inmates are not proficient readers which is a factor in their ability to succeed in our society.

Benefit:  Remain in Touch gives incarcerated parents the opportunity to help their children become better readers, which increases the chances the children will experience success.

For the children


  • Children develop literacy skills long before they read.

Benefit:  Remain in Touch offers books for incarcerated parents to record for children 0-12 years, so even toddlers may experience hearing their parents read to them.

  • Young children who are read to regularly are better prepared to enter school. They have a larger vocabulary, have a stronger foundation of language awareness, and have literacy skills at a younger age.

Benefit:  Remain in Touch helps incarcerated parents make quality audio recordings, providing a read-aloud, parent-child experience to better the children's reading skills.

  • Young children who are read to regularly by family members experience multiple benefits, including a boost to their literacy development, social-emotional gains, and an increased likelihood of later overall school success.

Benefit:  Remain in Touch gives incarcerated parents an opportunity to make a difference in the overall success of their children.

The April 2016 Kids Count report titled, “A Shared Sentence: The Devastating Toll of Parental Incarceration of Kids, Families and Communities” published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation cites:

  •  5.1 million U.S. children and 228,000 children in Michigan have had a parent who has served time.

  • Michigan is tied with 5 other states for ranking 3rd highest in the nation for percentage of incarcerated parents; only Kentucky and Indiana are higher.

  • In Michigan, 1 out of 10 children have had an incarcerated parent.

  • Considering the approximate 3,900 children, ages 0-17, in Leelanau County, potentially 390 children in this county could be affected by parental incarceration sometime during their childhood years.

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