Pediatricians, Bakery Partner to Help Young Readers

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Dothan, Ala. (February 11, 2014) ~ In addition to the day of love, February 14 is International Book Giving Day, a day dedicated to getting new, used, and borrowed books into the hands of as many children as possible.

Southeastern Pediatric Associates has chosen a sugary sweet partner, Sweet & Sassy Bakery, to help make sure that Dothan area children receive books through their Reach Out and Read-Alabama program. With the theme of “Share the Love of Reading,” Sweet & Sassy has agreed to give a free cookie to each child who donates one new book to Southeastern Pediatric Associates from Monday, Feb. 10 through Friday, Feb. 14.

Participants are asked to turn in their new books at either of the two Dothan locations of Southeastern Pediatrics where they will receive one cookie voucher. Recipients can then redeem their voucher at Sweet & Sassy from February 17-28, 2014.

For the past seven years, Southeastern Pediatric Associates has prepared America's youngest children to succeed in school by prescribing books at wellness visits and encouraging parents to read together regularly through their Reach Out and Read program.
Reach Out and Read-Alabama, a program of the Alabama Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics, is a simple, yet highly effective concept.

The program targets children growing up in poverty and without books and features three key elements:

Volunteers read with children in pediatric clinic waiting areas;
Pediatricians educate parents about the importance of reading with their children every day, and;
At every regular checkup between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, each child receives a new, age-appropriate book to take home and keep.

“It’s about more than reading,” said Dr. Lauren Morris. “We want all our children to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and succeed. Research shows that children who start school on a strong track are more likely to reach their full educational, social, and life potential and that’s why this program is important in my practice.”

Medical research supports that claim, showing that literacy-promoting interventions by the pediatrician have a significant effect on parental behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes toward reading aloud. For more than a decade, studies have indicated that parents who get books and literacy counseling from their doctors and nurses are more likely to read to their young children, read to them more often, and provide more books in the home. In addition, children served by Reach Out and Read enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

For more information about Reach Out and Read at Southeastern Pediatric Associates or if you would like to donate funds or volunteer as a reader, please contact Polly McClure, Statewide Coordinator,

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