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Reach Out & Read Partners with Northeast Pediatrics to improve children’s health

Northeast Pediatrics is teaming up with Reach Out & Read, an organization that believes all families should have the tools and information they need to make reading aloud a daily routine. 


The goal is to integrate reading during child visits and advise families about the importance of reading with their children and share books that serve as a catalyst for healthy childhood development. 


“Experiencing and engaging in language-rich interactions helps children develop communication skills, patience, empathy, and literacy—all of which are critical to success in school and beyond,’ said Michelle Kenney, MD, Northeast Pediatrics. “Even the simple act of handling books develops school readiness in infants.” 


Additional positive effects of reading together include better recognition of sounds and letters, knowledge of a wider range of vocabulary, increased listening skills, and a deeper understanding of how stories work. 


“When we read with our young ones, we help grow their curiosity and memory. Stories transport them to places and times they have never experienced, enhancing their understanding of the world,” said Dr. Kenney. “Holding a child close while reading can help them manage moments of anxiety and create a positive association with reading that endures throughout their lives.” 


More than 80% of a child’s brain is formed during their first three years, and what they experience during this window can irreversibly affect how their brain develops. Attention and nurturing from a loving parent or caregiver supports healthy brain development—and one of the best ways to engage young children is to read books together. 


The books in the clinic lobby come in different languages too! English, Spanish, and French. Children will receive a new book throughout their wellness checks, for a total of nine different books. 


To make a cash or book donation to the program, contact Amy Baumgartner, Chief Operations Officer, at Northeast Missouri Health Council, 660-627-5757. 



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