Reach Out and Read-Alabama Launches Summer Campaign Read Together and Have a Healthy FamilyMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jul 02 2014 8:26 AM
(DOTHAN, Ala.) July 1, 2014 – Reach Out and Read-Alabama pediatric practices and clinics are ready to Read Together and Have a Healthy Family this summer with Richard Scarry’s Nicky Goes To The Doctor. This June, the early literacy program launched its fifth-annual summer campaign that promotes families reading together. Using the book as inspiration, campaign organizers hope to encourage families to visit their physician for scheduled well-child office visits. Copies of the book will be distributed by pediatric healthcare providers statewide, who will also talk to parents about goals for optimum physical, emotional and developmental health for their children during these visits.
Nicky Goes To The Doctor activities and events sponsored by Dothan Pediatric Clinic are being held at the Wiregrass Boys and Girls Club on Thursday, July 10 at 1 pm. One of our physicians will give a Community Helper presentation to the 6-year-olds. The children will participate in a doctor-related craft and will have a special snack provided by our clinic.
“Using the message of this year’s book, the campaign’s purpose is two-fold: to bring home the importance of forming a reliable relationship with a trusted pediatric health care provider and to alleviate some of the concerns children have about those scheduled check-ups,” said Polly McClure, statewide coordinator for Reach Out and Read-Alabama.
This year's book was chosen to complement the Alabama Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Choose to Have a Healthy Family, Alabama!” yearlong Facebook campaign, the goal of which is to foster a conversation outside of the doctor's office about healthy living between Alabama families and their pediatricians.
“We share the same goal as parents and caregivers ~ to raise healthy, happy children. Scheduled well-child visits enable the pediatric healthcare provider to observe the development of your child outside of illnesses and also to offer information about preventive care that will keep your child healthy,” said Dr. Michelle Freeman, Reach Out and Read medical coordinator at Dothan Pediatric Clinic.
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness at regular pediatric checkups by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. The model includes providing a carefully selected, new, and age-appropriate book for each child to take home from every check-up from 6 months through 5 years of age.
Along with the free book for every child, doctors and nurses provide guidance to the parents about the importance of reading aloud with their children every day. The research proves that families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a six-month developmental edge.
Nationwide, Reach Out and Read doctors and nurses serve 3.9 million children and their families annually at 4,688 pediatric practices, hospitals, clinics, and health centers in all 50 states, targeting those centers that serve children at socioeconomic risk. The 70 Reach Out and Read programs in Alabama serve a total of 129,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers annually.