LITERACY PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN INTRODUCED AT BOZEMAN DEACONESS FAMILY MEDICINE AND PEDIATRICS

Bozeman Deaconess Reading Program
APRIL 5, 2011
Getting books from the doctor is now a routine part of regular pediatric checkups at Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine & Pediatrics, as doctors and nurses welcome the Reach Out and Read program to the practice. They join more than 4,500 programs nationwide that are preparing America’s youngest children to succeed in school.

Reach Out and Read is a simple, yet highly effective concept featuring three key elements:

Volunteers read with children in pediatric clinic waiting areas.
Pediatricians and family practitioners educate parents about the importance of reading with their children every day.
At every regular checkup between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, each child receives a new, age-appropriate book to take home and keep.

Pediatrician Pepper Henyon, MD, says, “Reach Out and Read is an evidence based program that encourages caregivers to read with their children. Free books are given to children 5 and under at their wellness exams. This program has been shown to increase the literacy rate of children, improve their language skills, and increase the number of children who will be ready for kindergarten. As healthcare providers, we not only care about the health of the child but we also want them to succeed in life. By giving books to our young patients, we hope to give further opportunity for our patients to excel in literacy. Parents and patients, in our clinic, have been delighted with the books!”

Medical research shows 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, children served by Reach Out and Read enter kindergarten with a six-month developmental edge, and have larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

For more information about the Reach Out and Read at Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine & Pediatrics, or if you would like to donate funds or volunteer as a reader, please call the office at 587-5123.
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