Monday, Apr 7, 2008
Getting books from the doctor will soon be a routine part of well-child visits at Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Cartersville, as Dr. Katherine Fields and Dr. Tammy Williams and staff welcome the Reach Out and Read program to the practice. Harbin Clinic Pedatrics-Cartersville joins more than 3,518 programs nationally that are working to make books part of a healthy childhood.
Reach Out and Read is a simple, yet highly effective concept. The program targets children growing up in poverty and without books and features three key elements:
- Volunteers read with children in pediatric clinic waiting areas
- Pediatricians educate parents about the importance of reading with their children every day, and
- Every child from the age of 6 months to five years receives a new book to take home and keep when they come in for a well-child check-up.
“Giving a book to a young child, along with age-appropriate advice about sharing books for the parents, may be the only concrete activity a pediatrician can routinely do to promote child development,” commented Barry S. Zuckerman, MD. ROR co-founder, and Chief of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Medical research supports that claim, showing that literacy promoting interventions by the pediatrician have a significant effect on parental behaviors, beliefs and attitudes toward reading aloud. For more than a decade, studies have indicated that parents who get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home. In addition, several studies have also shown improvements in the language scores of young children receiving Reach Out and Read.
“In addition to striving to provide outstanding healthcare, we are also always looking for ways to enhance every aspect of a child’s well-being,” said Dr. Tammy Williams, Harbin Clinic Pediatrician. “Not only will we be providing children with books, but also providing parents with educational material on choosing age-appropriate books and tips. Parents and children who are already reading daily are always excited to receive more books. This program benefits everyone and we are thrilled to be introducing it to Cartersville!”