Reach Out and Read School Readiness Program

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By Terry Rogers

The Milford Nemours Pediatrics location in Teal Plaza on North Dupont Highway is one of seven Nemours sites to participate in the Reach Out and Read program, which has doctors and nurses sending families home with books at each child wellness visit to encourage reading at home. On Thursday, September 27, the Milford Nemours office hosted Senator Chris Coons, who read three books to several children, as part of the program.

Senator Coons was greeted by Raina and Ryana Johnson, Valeris Robles, Zoe Layton, Andrew and Eden Baker, Cameron Simmons, Jayda Freeman, as well as Jayla and Jeane McLove who were eagerly awaiting the Congressman’s arrival. The children participated with the Senator as he read Lola Goes to the Library by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw and Book, Book, Book by Deborah Bruss and Tiphanie Beeke. They particularly enjoyed reading along with him as he read Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed by Eileen Christelow.

The Reach Out and Read Program gives free books to children at each wellness visit, from age six months to five years, so that children can begin their own home library of up to ten new books. Siblings who attend doctor visits are also given free books to further support the program and doctors and nurses in the practice encourage parents to read aloud to their children in order to promote literacy at home.

In addition to the Reach Out and Read Program, Nemours promotes reading successes by screening and supporting children who may be at risk for learning difficulties through the Nemours BrightStart program. All funding to purchase the books is provided by the Nemours Foundation as all Nemours Pediatrics satellite locations will participate by 2013. The Milford office hands out approximately 3,000 books per year to patients as part of the program.

“Programs such as this one provide effective intervention and offer significant impact on student success,” Senator Coons said.