CompleteCare Health Network is excited to announce the addition of the Reach Out and Read (ROR) program to their health centers that offer pediatric services. Founded in 1989, Reach Out and Read is a nationwide program designed to incorporate literacy into pediatric care.
According to the Reach Out and Read website, reachoutandread.org, the program’s mission is to “give young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.”
“After hearing about Reach Out and Read I was eager and excited to bring it to CompleteCare,” said Dr. Jazmine Harris, a pediatrician at CompleteCare who organized support for the program. “I knew it was something that our providers would embrace and that would also fit closely with our mission.”
In June 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics deemed literacy a vital part of pediatric care and ROR helps engage young patients and their parents to make sure reading is a priority. This link is made by having providers who see children give brand new books to kids at each of their wellness checkups from age 6 months to 5 years.
Currently health centers in all 50 states participate in Reach Out and Read and each year medical providers at the nearly 5,000 locations hand out over 6.5 million books to children.
“The link has been made between reading aloud to children and language development,” said Dr. Harris. “This activity not only strengthens a child’s cognitive skills, but it may also help them be more successful in school later in life, help stressed children feel calmer, and help build a bond between parent and child.”
Pediatricians and family medicine providers at five CompleteCare locations where pediatric services are provided are currently participating in the program; CompleteCare Pediatric & Family Medical Professionals in Bridgeton, Vineland Health Campus in Vineland, and CompleteCare Medical & Dental Professionals in Millville, Glassboro and Wildwood.
CompleteCare Health Network saw over 6,000 children age five and under in 2015 for pediatric services. Many of these kids will receive books through the Reach Out and Read program this year.
To learn more about the Reach Out and Read program at CompleteCare call Kimberly Tweed at 856-285-6702. To schedule an appointment with a provider that participates in Reach Out and Read call 856-451-4700.