Reach Out and Read Summer PartyMatt Boster
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jul 26 2018 5:02 PM
Reach Out and Read-Alabama’s Ninth Annual Summer Campaign partners with the
Alabama Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics’ Brush, Book, Bed initiative
to promote healthy bedtime routines
DOTHAN: Oral hygiene practices, reading, and regular bedtimes are three simple life skills that pediatricians are reinforcing through Brush Book Bed (BBB), a new statewide program of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AL-AAP) and its early literacy arm, Reach Out and Read-Alabama (ROR-AL). Made possible by a grant from the DentaQuest Foundation, along with in-kind support from the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Oral Health Division, the program will provide families at well-child visits with materials in hand (age-appropriate books, stickers, a toothbrush, and toothpaste) to remind them of the need to complete the BBB routine each night to achieve optimal oral health for their children.
“This program will pay dividends to the lifelong health of our patients and their families,” said Grant Allen, MD, FAAP, BBB physician leader. “Many families, especially those most vulnerable, are not aware of the importance of early oral health, seeing a dentist, and reading to their children.”
Partnering hand in hand with the BBB initiative, ROR-AL’s Ninth Annual Rx for Summer Reading will focus on bedtime routines. On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., the clinics of Dothan Pediatric Healthcare Network will provide copies of Goodnight, Daniel Tiger, host a fun pajama party based on the book, read the book, and provide a “prescription” to become involved in the reading program at their local libraries.
According to a recent article in Parents magazine, bedtime stories have long been known to foster parent-child bonds and prepare children for sleep. Researchers have recently attached other powers to this nighttime routine; parents reading to their child are actually boosting the child's brain development. According to G. Reid, Lyon, Ph.D. of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the most profound benefit is the way reading bedtime stories can rewire children’s brains to quicken their mastery of language.
“One of the ways we suggest that parents incorporate reading together daily is during the bedtime routine. Since you don’t want food or drink to become your child’s bedtime source of comfort, books can serve as the perfect cue that it’s time to cuddle up and go to sleep,” said Michelle Freeman, MD, FAAP, Medical Director and ROR-AL Medical Coordinator of Dothan Pediatric Healthcare Network.
The evidence-based Reach Out and Read program builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning in infancy. During regular visits to the doctor, families grow to understand the powerful role they play in supporting their children’s development, early language, and literacy at home.
Currently, 60 of Alabama’s pediatric practices and clinics serve as ROR-AL program sites in 27 counties, impacting 52 percent of the state’s children under the age of five. According to Voices for Alabama Children 2018 Kids Count Data, 39 percent of children under the age of five live in single-parent families and 25 percent live in poverty. Programs such as Reach Out and Read-Alabama are vital in providing hope to these struggling families through the stories in brand-new books prescribed by their local medical provider.