Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Book a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Have you ever heard of a doctor giving a “prescription to read?” Well, neither had I until just the other day, when I read an article about it. Realizing the importance of early literacy on a child’s overall health, some 90 or so health clinics in Wisconsin are giving out books to kids, ages 6 months to 5 years, at well-child visits. Through this “Reach Out and Read” program, these health care providers are not only passing out books, but also giving advice on sharing books with family.

After doing a little more research on the Reach Out and Read initiative, I found out that it has programs nationwide, in all 50 states, and distributes 6.5 million books annually. We even have 139 participating clinics here in Ohio! Check out the Reach Out and Read website for more information on how it works and how you can get involved.

As a librarian who is constantly preaching about the benefits of early literacy, I am beyond thrilled to hear about a program like this. From now on, I’ll be sure to mention that, not only do I think reading is important, but it’s the doctor’s order!

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