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First 5 allocates $250,000 for pediatricians to Reach Out and Read®

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First 5 San Bernardino wants to see pediatric offices in San Bernardino County make reading doctor-recommended to children ages 5 and under. With the investment of $250,000 from the early childhood development funder, pediatricians can order age-appropriate books to get a Reach Out and Read® program started in their offices.

Reach Out & Read® is a national program that distributes books through pediatricians to connect reading as a vital practice for quality early childhood development.  While in the waiting room, volunteer readers or parents themselves are provided books to read to their children, increasing the child’s interaction and exposure to words.  Parents of children ages 5 and under will able to take prescribed books home to build their child’s library and early literacy capacity. First 5 San Bernardino developed a partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 2 last year to see expansion of the program across the county.

“This partnership leverages the timing of well-child check-ups to reinforce reading as a critical activity for brain development in the first five years of life,” says Karen E. Scott, Executive Director of First 5 San Bernardino.  “A partnership with our local pediatricians through this program is timely as our county acknowledges the needs of literacy programs through the Vision 2 Read campaign. We hope to find pediatricians that are interested offering this added benefit of developmental support to their patients.”

Edward Curry, MD, FAAP, Vice President of American Academy of Pediatrics, California Chapter 2 says, “Reach Out and Read is an opportunity to address the holistic well-being of our developing patients and cultivate bonding activities with their parents. The results from this program implementation across the nation are impressive and we’re looking to have that same impact on children in San Bernardino County.”

For more information on this initiative in San Bernardino County or communicate interest as a pediatric representative, visit http://bit.ly/roarsanbernardino or call (909) 386-7706. For information on the national program, visit www.reachoutandread.org.

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