Raise a literate child

Marlyn Schmitz
Guest Article

Raising literate children, those who grow up with books and the love of reading, is the goal of Reach Out and Read.

The Reach Out and Read program at the Cambridge Medical Center promotes literacy as a regular part of children’s pediatric care. At every well check-up from six months to five years, each child is given a new book to take home by his/her doctor. The doctor talks about the book and the importance of reading and talking to children.

Reach Out and Read volunteers promote literacy by reading to pre-schools on a regular basis sharing their favorite books and their love of reading. They also keep the book bins in the doctors’ offices filled with age appropriate books and add new books to the bins in the clinic waiting rooms.

David Walsh, author of “Smart Parenting, Smart Kids,” says the recipe for raising a literate child is simple. “Talk, talk, talk. Read, read, read.” Talk about things you’re doing and seeing. Your toddler is communicating with their babbling, trying to mimic what they hear. Give your child plenty to mimic by telling about your day, what you’re thinking, reciting rhymes, and singing songs. It will pay dividends in so many ways. (from Star Tribune, 11-10-13)

Reach Out and Read invites you to a Book Fair at the Cambridge Medical Center Foundation room on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 12 and 13. Many fun and colorful books will be available for purchase. Profit will be used to buy the books given to the children at their check-ups.

Reading to and talking to young children promotes early literacy and language development. That’s the goal of the Cambridge Medical Center’s Reach Out and Read program.