• Every child from birth to 5-years-old gets a strong start in caring relationships, language development, and literacy experiences.
• Families know how to help their children develop language, literacy, and relationships.
• Community groups, parents, physicians and other providers all share the responsibility for giving children a “smart start.”
Raising Readers provides the books which physicians give to children with help from community partners, grants, and national Reach Out and Read. Raising Readers volunteer readers donate their time to read with children and visit with parents while they are waiting. We establish Raising Readers Reading Corners with quality children’s books in public reception areas. Raising Readers members share reliable information about early language and literacy development with parents, professionals and the general public.
Primary care physicians are in an excellent position to influence the attitudes and behaviors of parents who are their child’s first teachers. At every check-up from 6 months to 5 years physicians give each child an attractive, new age-appropriate book to take home. They encourage parents to read aloud daily at home to build their child’s skills, enhance parent-child relationships, and spark a joy of reading. Physicians also support the literacy rich environment in the reception area.
The physicians in the McFarland Clinic Pediatric Department have become leaders in educating parents about early literacy and recommending that families make reading with their children a daily habit. Now the Reach Out and Read program has explanded to include all primary care physicians and clinics that provide well child care throughout Story County. Raising Readers in Story County received a national Reach Out and Read Bookend Award for being the first county in the nation to have all eligible healthcare providers participating. By working together and taking advantage of well-child check-ups from birth to 5 years, we can reach parents of approximately 9,500 young children each year to help them start reading together habits.