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Reading Program

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The Smucker's Berry Good Reading Program

Akron Children’s has partnered with the J.M. Smucker Company to spread the seeds of literacy to our patients and their families through our Berry Good Reading Program to provide books, tips, and resources on how families can incorporate reading into their everyday habits.

Providers implement the Berry Good Reading Program by giving patients from 6 months to 5 years old a new book during well-child visits at all 39 (and growing!) Akron Children’s Pediatrics sites. Our books are developmentally appropriate, diverse, and inclusive.

Our clinical team encourages reading aloud to children to promote strong brain development, overall wellness, and school readiness for each child.

External Affairs also hosts awareness celebrations such as Read Across America Day, Children’s Authors Day, Summer Slide Reading Awareness and other events throughout the Hospital to foster an enthusiastic and creative approach around reading.

Reading Tips

Incorporate literacy habits every day through reading, playing, and talking with your child and you can make a lasting impact on a child’s brain development and school readiness.

1. Start early! Children thrive and connect when you read to them, even babies.

2. Read anything, anywhere, anytime. Words are everywhere! Make it a habit to point them out and describe what they mean.

3. Books are better than screens. More reading and less screen time builds healthier brains.

4. Ask your child questions about stories. This keeps them interested and promotes language development.

5. Model reading with your child. Children learn by watching you, so do your best to lead by example.

To learn more, please email

Here’s an article with additional reading tips: Kidshealth: Reading: How to Help Your Child | Akron Children's Hospital (

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