Green Bay – Receiving books from the doctor is now a routine part of infant and toddler checkups at six Green Bay-area Prevea Health centers, as pediatricians welcome the Reach Out and Read program to their practice.
 
Reach Out and Read is part of a nationwide effort to encourage literacy development at birth, with parents learning how important it is to talk and sing to their babies from birth. Doctors and nurses speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud to older infants and toddlers every day, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. Children are given developmentally-appropriate books to take home at each well-child visit from 6 months through age 5. Displays, library information, adult literacy information and books create a literacy-rich clinic environment.
 
The Reach Out and Read program is now offered at Prevea West De Pere Health Center, Prevea East De Pere Health Center, Prevea Allouez Health Center, Prevea East Mason Health Center, Prevea Howard Health Center and the Prevea St. Mary’s Health Center.
 
“While this program is a chance for children to get new books from their pediatrician, it’s so much more than a book give away,” said Dr. Michelle Hill, pediatrician at the Prevea West De Pere Health Center. “Reach and Out and Read helps providers deliver an enhanced level of care. When we hand a child a book, we are able to see the child’s literacy skills first-hand, and, identify any physical or developmental concerns that may need to be addressed.”
 
Reach Out and Read serves 4.7 million children and their families each year across the nation. Families that participate in this program read together more often and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. As a result, these children are better prepared to achieve their potential. Reach Out and Read Wisconsin medical director, Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, emphasizes the importance of this approach by saying, “walking into a well-child exam without a book for that child is like walking in without my stethoscope.”
 
Reach Out and Read is a proven intervention that delivers results and is supported by 15 independent research studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals. The program model has gained broad bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress and is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. In the past year, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin programs provided early literacy guidance and advice to one in five of the Wisconsin children younger than 6 years and distributed more than 165,000 new books.
 
Anyone wishing to donate funds or books for the Reach Out and Read program at Prevea Health may contact Colleen Ducke, manager of Prevea Pediatrics, at (920) 272-1257, or colleen.ducke@prevea.com.
 
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About Prevea Health
Prevea Health’s mission is to care for people with passion, pride, and respect. Founded in 1996, Prevea Health partners with HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, to provide access to more than 200 physicians in more than 60 specialty areas. Prevea has more than 80 locations throughout Northeast Wisconsin and Western Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley region. For more information, visit www.prevea.com.