The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
Reach Out and Read is a national organization that makes literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric primary care so that children grow up with books and a love of reading.
By building on the unique relationship between parents and medical care providers, Reach Out and Read helps families and communities encourage early literacy skills so children enter school prepared for success in reading. With a special focus on children growing up in poverty, Reach Out and Read uses a three part model to be most effective.
1- In the exam room, doctors and nurses trained in the developmental strategies of early literacy encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips.
2- The pediatric primary care provider gives every child between the ages of six months and five years, a new, developmentally appropriate children's book to take home and keep.
3- To create a "literacy-rich environment" in the clinic waiting room, gently used books are made available for any family to read and even take home. Sometimes, when opportunities are available, volunteers in waiting rooms read aloud to children, showing parents and children the techniques and pleasures of looking at books together.