Reach Out and Read-Alabama 14th annual Summer Campaign

Published 6:33 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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Just as in the well-known children’s book, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, shares what happens when you give that little mouse a cookie, this summer the Reach Out and Read-Alabama (ROR-AL) 14th annual summer campaign answers what takes place if you give a child a book.

Starting with the newborn well-child visit when a medical provider gives a child a book, families begin to understand the importance of reading aloud together with their child and the impact of the everyday moments they share. This is one of the single, most important actions families can take to develop safe, stable and nurturing relationships that last a lifetime, by supporting the critical development of their child’s brain and strengthening their resilience.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie activities and events were sponsored by Dr. Patricia Robinson and Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, Inc. from July 12 through July 19, 2023 with a kick off program on July 12.  The kids were treated to gift cards, refreshments, reading lists and craft making while parents were engaged in encouraging summer reading.

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The evidence-based Reach Out and Read program builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children beginning in infancy.

With more than 30 peer-reviewed studies and a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read is an effective intervention incorporating early literacy into pediatric practice and equipping parents with tools and knowledge to ensure their children are prepared to learn when they start school. During regular, one-on-one visits with the doctor, families grow to understand the significant role they play in supporting their child’s growth and development.

Currently, 60 pediatric practices and clinics serve as Reach Out and Read-Alabama program sites in 26 counties, impacting 23 percent Alabama’s children under five. “Our practice has participated as a site for the Reach out and Read program for the last 15 years, stated Dr. Robinson. She continues “We believe that all families should have the tools and information they need to make reading aloud a daily routine. We help integrate reading into our practice, advise families about the importance of reading with their children, and share books that serve as a catalyst for healthy childhood development. Our practice has given over 15,000 books during our continued participation.”