Reach Out and Read Ohio's tips to make reading fun

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

A beautiful little girl with big blue eyes and wispy blonde hair was waiting for me in the exam room. She was there for her 2-year visit and was a little frightened. I knelt down and showed her a bright new board book. She reached out with sticky little fingers and immediately started to smile and enjoy the pictures with me. She grasped the book the entire visit. As I waved goodbye at the end of the visit she ran after me trying to return the book. When she finally realized it was hers to keep, she looked as happy as Christmas morning!!! I LOVE REACH OUT AND READ!

- Judy Romano, MD, Martins Ferry, Ohio, Reach Out and Read Ohio Provider

Reach Out and Read Ohio makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care so that children grow up with books and a love of reading. By training doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading, and reading aloud, as well as to give free books to children at well child check-ups, they are helping families and communities encourage early literacy skills.

Nearly one-third of Ohio's young children, from 6 months to 5 years old, living in, or near, poverty are currently receiving books at their well-child visits through Reach Out and Read Ohio. Studies have long shown that reading to young children is crucial to developing the skills needed for school readiness, and is the single strongest predictor of school success.

Parents can make reading with their child a part of the daily routine. Here are some suggestions for reading together:

  • Make reading part of every day Read with your children at bedtime, in the park, or on the bus.
  • Have fun Children who enjoy story time will begin to love books and learning to read.
  • Make the story come alive Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story.
  • Ask questions about the story What do you think will happen next? What is this?

Reach Out and Read Ohio is a collaborative program of the Reach Out and Read National Center, the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Ohio AAP Foundation.

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