Pediatricians in northwestern Minnesota are teaming up to ensure the physical… and mental development of our children.
It's a new program at Riverview Health in Crookston called, "Reach Out and Read".
Mom: "I love your fingers and toes. Toes just like your toes!"
The Reach Out and Read program is designed to give kids up to the age of five a head start on school.
Studies show that regularly reading aloud to kids produces big gains in their vocabulary and comprehension.
Kari Moe, Crookston: "Yep, usually we have a bath at night and then we have a bottle and then we read don't we? Yeah."
As part of the program, Pediatricians talk to parents during their child's doctor visit… about the importance of reading to their kids and not just flopping them down in front of a video game or TV.
Dr. Justin Conley, Riverview Health: "It's appropriate for development of speech and language. It also stimulates contact and development between parents and their kids."
Dr. Paula Brito, Riverview Health: "There is a concern that parents sometimes say… when I show the book he's not getting that this is a cat and it's an age that he should be getting that."
Reporter: "You can pickup on problems a lot earlier and deal with it?"
Dr. Brito: "Exactly."
The Crookston Early Childhood Initiative group organized the effort and supplies the money for books that will be given to parents… in hopes all parents will start reading to their kids and give them a head start on school and life.
Here are some tips to get your children off to a solid literary start:
1. Set aside time to read to your child daily.
2. Surround your child with reading material.
Put reading materials in cars, bathrooms, bedrooms, family rooms, and even by the TV.
3. Have a family reading time.
Establish a daily 15-30 minute time when everyone in the family reads together silently. Seeing you read will inspire your child to read.
4. Encourage a variety of reading activities.
Have them read menus, roadside signs, game directions, weather reports, movie time listings and other everyday information.
5. Develop the library habit.
6. Be knowledgeable about your child's progress.
Find out what reading skills your child is expected to have at each grade level. Track their progress in acquiring basic reading skills on report cards and standardized tests.
7. Look for reading problems.
Find out if your child can sound out words, knows sight words, uses context to identify unknown words, and clearly understands what they read.
8. Get help promptly for reading problems.
Reading problems do not magically disappear with time. The earlier children receive help, the more likely they will become good readers.
9. Use a variety of aids to help your child improve their reading.
Use text books, computer programs, books-on-tape, games, and other materials. Games are especially good choices because they let children have fun as they work on their skills.
10. Show enthusiasm for your child's reading.