CHCHC celebrates 10 years of stories with ‘Reach Out and Read’
Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2016
The Charles Henderson Child Health Clinic in Troy was a-buzz with activity Wednesday as children from the Boys and Girls Club in Troy joined patients at the clinic in celebrating Reach Out and Read-Alabama’s 10 Years of Stories.
CHCHC strongly promotes families reading together and is a longtime participate in Reach Out and Read-Alabama, which in the last 10 years has, though pediatric healthcare providers, “prescribed” more than 1.6 million new books to the state’s youngest and most underserved children, said Salina Taylor, Read Out and Read communications coordinator.
“All children, ages six months to five, who complete their wellness checks at CHCHC receive a book to take home,” said Rosemary Hanson, CHCHC Reach Out and Read site coordinator. “Prescribing a book during each checkup gives us the opportunity to connect with parents and create a partnership in the lifelong journey of learning for their child.”
What’s even better, Hanson said, is that new studies are documenting the effectiveness of the unexpectedly complex interactions that occur when you put a small child on your lap and open a picture book.
Teresa Colvin, children’s librarian at Troy Public Library, was a reader for the celebration event. She agreed that reading to young children is important.
“Reach Out and Read focuses on young children and that’s extremely important,” Colvin said. “At an early age, even for newborns, reading is important. Not only does it instill in children the love of reading, it is a wonderful way to bond. Every time a child a book read to them, the quality of their life is enhanced.”
Colvin said the Troy Public Library has many outstanding books for children of all ages.
“During the summer months, we encourage children to visit the library,” she said. “Reading for pleasure can be a great learning experience and it’s a fun way to maintain and improve reading skills over the summer months.”
State Rep. Alan Boothe took advantage of the opportunity to read to the youngsters at CHCHC.
“When you read to children, you are investing in their futures,” he said. “It’s important for me to do that.”
Boothe read Jane Yolen’s “How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?” The children enjoyed learning about table manners through the playful verses and amusing pictures.
“Reading is a big part of life and it brings lifelong joy,” Colvin said. “The earlier children begin to enjoy the written word, the longer they will have to enjoy it.”
Wayne Buchanan, director of the Pike County and Surrounding Counties Boys and Girls Club in Troy, expressed appreciation to Reach Out and Read-Alabama and CHCHC for inviting young club members to the celebration of reading.
“They’ve had a great time hearing the stories read and playing games,” Buchanan said. “We thank everyone for a great time and for taking time to let these kids know how important reading is by taking time to read to them.”
Currently, 60 of Alabama’s pediatric practices and clinics serve as Reach Out and Read-Alabama program sites in 30 counties, which serve 40 percent of the state’s children under the age of five.