Local community health center Primary Health Network (PHN) offers various supportive services to improve the health and well-being of their patients. PHN’s Greenville Community Health Center recently implemented the Reach Out and Read program to provide literacy education and support to parents and caregivers of pediatric patients.
Reach Out and Read is a national non-profit organization that promotes the integration of childhood literacy into pediatric care. Providers and staff at Greenville Community Health Center completed a comprehensive training to be approved to offer the program. Providers will utilize pediatric checkups as an opportunity to have a conversation with the child’s caregiver about the importance of reading aloud to their child every day.
Reading is an essential skill that we use throughout the course of our lives, but there are many benefits to exposing children to books before they know how to read. Not only will they learn about language and listening, it is also a wonderful bonding experience for the child and their caregiver.
At each well visit from age six months to five years, pediatric patients will receive a book to take home as part of this program. By the time they are five years old, children will have their own library of 8-10 books provided by Reach Out and Read. Caregivers are encouraged to use the local library and other resources to continue fostering a positive reading environment at home.
Funding for the books is provided by PHN Charitable Foundation, the fundraising arm of Primary Health Network, and PHN hopes to expand the program to additional locations in the future.