‘Reach out and read’ today at CHCHC

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” will be at the Charles Henderson Child Health Center in Troy today and the first 100 children, ages birth through 6, will receive a hardback book of the best-selling book by Eric Carle.

Rosemary Hanson, CHCHC Reach Out and Read on-site coordinator, said she is excited that the Troy child health center was selected to participate in Reach Out and Read’s second-annual summer campaign to give a brand-new, age-appropriate book to children.

“We have a fun morning of activities planned from 8 o’clock until noon today and we invite young children to join us,” Hanson said. “We’ll have some healthy snacks – the kind a hungry caterpillar would eat – coloring pages and crayons to take home and story time around 10 o’clock. Of course, we’ll have copies of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to give away as long as they last.”

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Hanson said that Carle’s popular book encourages families to read together, eat healthy and grow strong as they learn strategies to combat childhood obesity.

As the caterpillar in “The Very Hungary Caterpillar” makes his way through the week eating apples, pears, plums, strawberries and oranges to feed his body, parents who read to their preschool children will feed their growing minds.

“It’s a wonderful story and one that children will enjoy over and over,” Hanson said. “Our event today is part of Reach Out and Read’s efforts to put a million books in the hands of kids this summer.

“The Charles Henderson Child Health Center participates in the Reach Out and Read program throughout the year. Every time a child comes to the center for its well-child checkup, they get a brand new book. That’s our way of encouraging parents to read to their children and for children to learn to enjoy books at an early age.”

Reach Out and Read CEO Earl Martin Phalen said that research shows the positive impact of early intervention on success in school.

“If you intervene in the first five years of life and partner with parents, you can dramatically improve the early literacy skills of a child, putting them on the track for success in school and in life,” Phalen said. “Childhood development experts tell us that the most important thing that parents can do to prepare their children to succeed in school is to read aloud to them every day.”