Dr. Therese Linnon reads a "Fancy Nancy" book to Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics patients in the Boardman office during the Reach Out and Read program kickoff.
A national children’s literacy program expanded to the Boardman office of Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics recently. Now each child from 6 months of age through age 5 receive a new, developmentally appropriate book at each wellness exam as part of the Reach Out and Read® program.
According to Pediatrician Therese Linnon, DO, FAAP, more than one third of children enter kindergarten unprepared with basic language skills needed to learn to read.
"We want to instill in them a passion for reading while they are young. We know if we can teach them to enjoy reading it will benefit them for their whole lives," said Dr. Linnon, who read a Fancy Nancy book to about 15 children who gathered for the program kickoff in the Boardman office on Nov. 30.
Studies have confirmed that children who participate in Reach Out and Read make significant improvements in their language skills, specifically understanding words and naming pictures.
In addition to giving children free books, pediatricians provide parents with information about the importance of reading aloud to their children.
Dr. Linnon offers these tips for successful reading:
Akron Children’s distributes more than 40,000 new books each year at 18 of its primary care locations throughout Northeast Ohio and also offers the program at many subspecialty physician offices in the Mahoning Valley. The program is funded by outside sources, most notably Kohl's Department Stores through its Kohl's Cares for Kids program.
Used books are also available to children of all ages in the office waiting rooms. Patients and their siblings are encouraged to take a book home with them to keep.
To donate new and gently used children’s books or to volunteer to read to patients, call 330-543-8068. Volunteers are trained to model reading techniques for parents by reading books to children in the waiting room of the doctor's office or clinic.
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