Getting books from the doctor are a routine part of regular pediatric checkups
at Atlantic Health Center. Atlantic Health Center recently joined more
than 5,000 program sites nationwide that are preparing America’s
youngest children to succeed in school through the Reach Out and Read program.
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
Reach Out and Read begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through
age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities.
Families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their
children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language
skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.
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 6 months through
5 years old a new, developmentally-appropriate children's book to
take home and keep.
- In the waiting room, displays, information, and books create a literacy-rich
“Reach Out and Read is an efficient and effective concept,”
said Reach Out and Read Acting Executive Director Brian Gallagher. “Our
doctors and nurses know that the most important thing that 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
Reach Out and Read is a proven intervention that delivers results, and
is supported by 15 independent, published research studies. During the
preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to
six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests.
These foundational language skills help start children on a path of success
when they enter school.
“This is a wonderful program that gives the gift of reading as a
reward for a wellness checkup,” said Deborah Wolf, director of the
Atlantic Health Center. The books come in all reading levels and languages,
which allows our associates to personalize the book to the child receiving
it. For many of the children the book that we provide is the first book
that they have ever received. Both the parents and children have been
About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the
residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) counties
since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated
community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md.,
combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology
and services. It provides quality specialty care such as weight loss surgery,
orthopedics, outpatient infusion for individuals with cancer or blood/autoimmune
disorders, retina surgery and a comprehensive women’s diagnostic
center. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary
care providers and specialists, care for residents and visitors throughout
the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit
About Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical
providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric
exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents
about the importance of reading aloud. The end goal of Reach Out and Read
is to prepare all children to enter kindergarten ready to read, learn,
and succeed. The Reach Out and Read model is endorsed by the American
Academy of Pediatrics, and the program has one of the strongest records
of research support of any primary care intervention. This year, Reach
Out and Read’s 20,000 volunteer medical providers will distribute
6.5 million new books to 4 million children at more than 5,000 healthcare
locations in all 50 states.