Pediatricians at Virginia Mason Federal Way Medical Center are promoting reading and literacy development as a prescription for success for their young patients.
They have joined the Reach Out and Read program and are giving free books to their patients and encouraging parents to read aloud with their children.
With every well-child check for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 at the Federal Way Medical Center, the youngster receives a new, age-appropriate book to take home. More than 200 books have been distributed so far.
Reach Out and Read is a national nonprofit program created to give children an early start toward success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
On its website, the program states “that the best opportunity to influence a child’s future is in the first five years, a critical window of rapid brain development that does not occur at any other time. Children who hear fewer words during early childhood start school developmentally behind their peers and may never catch up. When families read aloud to their young children, they can give them a better start to life.”