The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Inc. is proud to be a part of the Reach Out and Read family. Reach Out and Read is a national pre-literacy program that encourages reading aloud with children aged 6 months to 5 years of age. Our pediatric providers enthusiastically participate in the program and our pediatric patients reap the benefits.
Veronica Wiltshire, M.D., the Health Center’s Chief Medical Officer, recognizes the critical importance of the program. “It’s much more than just handing a child a book. Selecting a book that a child can relate to and reading aloud with them is one of the most important tools for a child’s cognitive and language development,” explains Dr. Wiltshire. “The first five years of a child’s life offer a critical window for learning. This rapid brain development does not occur at any other time in their lives which makes early intervention a priority.”
Each child goes home with a book that is developmentally appropriate and selected for them. “In addition to involving the parents in reading activities with their children and giving children a firm foundation for becoming a better student, it helps to develop a personal relationship between a child and his or her healthcare professional,” says Dr. Wiltshire.