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Reach Out and Read Pediatric Literacy Program

County: Collier
Categories Youth
Details: Children’s Health Network (CHN), a network of six pediatric offices located throughout Collier County, introduces a Reach Out and Read (ROR), a national pediatric literacy program, to its patients. During story time, volunteers read with the children, during morning or afternoon hours, in the waiting room while they wait to see their doctor. To date, ROR is established in three of the six CHN office locations. Those offices are: Central Naples Pediatrics, Golden Gate Pediatrics and the East Naples Medical Center. The ROR program encourages parents to read to their children at an early age. In addition to the reading being modeled in the waiting room by volunteers, CHN pediatricians give age- and language-appropriate books to each child they see for well-child visits. They also speak to parents about how their child’s development is directly tied to early reading experiences, and they offer tips on integrating reading into family activities. The introduction of ROR to Collier County is the direct result of the direction and vision of Dr. Susan Short, a pediatrician with Central Naples Pediatrics, who believes that literacy skills are as important a component to a child’s well-being as is his or her physical and behavioral development. “This program is exceptional because it assists families with limited incomes in acquiring books for children, it promotes positive parent-child relationships, and it even helps contribute to adult literacy or English abilities,” says Dr. Susan Short. The ROR program was developed 10 years ago in the pediatric primary clinic at what was then Boston City Hospital. Over the years, RPR has become a national organization with programs operating in private offices, clinics, and hospitals. The program is so successful, it has been officially endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and has played a central role in the White House initiative: Prescription for Reading Partnership.
Job Description: Volunteers read for the Reach Out and Read Pediatric Literacy Program. Volunteers model reading out loud to parents while reading to their children in the “well child” waiting room of the pediatric office.
Times of Work: Weekdays daytime
Primary Contact: Ms. Eileen C. McKay
Collier Health Services, Inc/CHN
1454 Madison Avenue
Immokalee, FL 34142
Fax: (239) 658-3050
Phone: (239) 658-3155
Worker's Comp for Volunteers?: N
Benefits Offered: none
Additional Information: Typical age of children read to is 1 to 8 years. Some books are provided to use for reading to the children. It is also recommended that readers obtain books at the local library to share with the children.

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