South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Reach Out and Read with kids at Healthcare Center


November 18, 2008

Getting books from the doctor will soon be a routine part of well-child visits at Hilltop Community Healthcare Center as doctors and nurses welcome the Reach Out and Read program to the practice.

Hilltop Community Healthcare Center joins more than 3,797 programs nationally that are working to make books part of a healthy childhood.

Reach Out and Read is a simple, yet highly effective concept. The program targets children growing up without books and features three key elements: Volunteers read with children in pediatric clinic waiting areas; pediatricians educate parents about the importance of reading with their children every day; and, every child from the age of six months to five years receives a new book to take home and keep when they come in for a well-child check-up.

"Many parents want to foster a love of reading and learning in their children but do not have the tools to do so. The Reach Out and Read program provides a way for pediatricians to help parents promote reading to their children before they get to school. We are very excited to bring the Reach Out and Read program to the children of the Hilltop Communities," stated Trina Peduzzi, MD, a pediatrician at Hilltop Community Healthcare Center.

Medical research shows that literacy promoting interventions by the pediatrician have a significant effect on parental behaviors, beliefs and attitudes toward reading aloud. For more than a decade, studies have indicated that parents who get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home. In addition, several studies have also shown improvements in the language scores of young children receiving Reach Out and Read.

For more information about Reach Out and Read at Hilltop Community Healthcare Center, or to make an appointment for a child, donate funds or volunteer as a reader, contact 412-431-3520.


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