Special to SVLfreenews.com
Getting books from the doctor are now part of regular pediatric checkups at pediatric and family practices in Statesville and the surrounding area, as doctors and nurses welcome Reach Out and Read to their pediatric practices thanks to a partnership between Leadership Statesville and the Iredell County Partnership for Young Children.
All practices will be starting the intervention at the newborn well-visit.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children. They are essentially providing families with “prescriptions to read.”
“We are really grateful to the Leadership Statesville Class of 2019 for their vision and support in launching Reach Out and Read and enabling all practices in the greater Statesville area seeing young children to implement this valuable intervention. Books prescribed during Reach Out and Read visits are tools for primary care providers to evaluate cognitive, motor, social and emotional development,” said Lisa Familo, executive director, Iredell Partnership for Young Children.
The Partnership is pleased to take the baton and sustain the Reach Out and Read program and has recently hired a Literacy Program coordinator to oversee the program.
Reach Out and Read begins at birth and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. The program has a two-generational effect. Children receive developmentally and culturally appropriate books provided at each visit to the doctor between the ages of birth and 5 years, and their parents receive advice and training about the most effective strategies impacting healthy brain development during the critical first years of life.
Pediatric healthcare providers are trained in the three-part Reach Out and Read model to promote early literacy and school readiness:
► In the exam room, doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement.
► The pediatric primary care provider gives every child a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to take home and keep.
► In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich environment and connect families with additional local resources and information.
“Reach Out and Read is an efficient and innovative intervention,” said Reach Out and Read Carolinas Executive Director Callee Boulware. “Our doctors and nurses know that the most important thing parents can do to prepare their children to succeed in school and beyond is to read aloud to them every day. Encouraging parents to stimulate their children’s early language and brain development during regular pediatric checkups is a simple model that has a lasting, invaluable impact on the life of a child.”
Participating practices include Statesville Children's Clinic (Gaston Family Health Services), Statesville Family Medicine (Gaston Family Health Services), PHC – Pediatrics (Piedmont HealthCare), Piedmont HealthCare - Bright Futures Pediatrics (Piedmont HealthCare), Davis Medical Group Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (Davis Medical Group), Northlake Pediatric Care (private practice), Dr. James Smith, Pediatrics (private practice).
For more information about Reach Out and Read, contact Amber Pierce at 704-351-4071 or if you would like to donate funds, gently used books or volunteer at one of the clinics, contact Peyton Goins at the Iredell County Partnership for Young Children at 704-878-9980.