Making books a part of a healthy childhood beginning in infancy is the goal of Reach Out and Read, a national pediatric literacy program. Ortonville Area Health Service’s partnership with the Reach Out and Read National Center ensures books are available and support is part of the prescription.
During well-child visits, every child between the ages of six months and five years old receives a new, developmentally- appropriate book to take home to keep. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to their young children. The program inspires children to embrace early reading concepts and promotes interaction between the child and the parent. As part of OAHS’s commitment to total health, Reach Out and Read helps to develop and maintain a balance of mind, body, and spirit.
OAHS is also currently working on creating a waiting room environment rich with gently used books to nurture a habit and love of reading. When possible, volunteer readers will entertain children, modeling for the parents or guardians the pleasures and techniques of reading aloud.
Robert S. Ross, a physician at OAHS says, “Northside Medical Clinic providers want children to grow up with books in their homes, to enjoy reading, and be prepared for school. Through Reach Out and Read, we are able to build on the relationships with parents to encourage early literacy.”
Questions about OAHS and Reach Out and Read? Contact Sally Stattelman, RN, OAHS Clinic Nurse Manager or Liz Sorenson, Clinic Director at 320.839.6157.
Pictured: Beth Fladhammer, FNP; Hailey Velzke and her mother Sarah Velzke