Early Childhood Literacy
Promote Early Childhood Literacy in Your Practice
By talking with parents about reading to their young children, you can positively affect parental attitudes and behaviors about reading. In addition to talking about reading, you can go a step further by creating a literacy-friendly practice.
Research shows that reading to young children (ages 6 months to 5 years) not only provides healthy together time for parents and children, it also offers many lifelong benefits:
- Increased vocabulary, curiosity, and memory
- Positive associations with books and reading
- Opportunities to build listening skills
- A foundation for scholastic success
Family physicians -- who often care for multiple generations within a single family -- are uniquely positioned to talk to parents and other caregivers about the benefits of reading aloud to their young children.
Not Sure How to Get Started?
Reach Out and Read(www.reachoutandread.org), the AAFP’s partner in early childhood literacy efforts, is an evidence-based, nonprofit organization of medical providers that helps nearly 5,000 physicians in all 50 states jumpstart discussions about reading. Reach Out and Read offers resources for both physicians and caregivers, including:
- Instructions for starting a Reach Out and Read program in your practice(www.reachoutandread.org)
- Searchable Database of participating programs around the United States(www.reachoutandread.org)
- Orientation and training materials for medical providers(www.reachoutandread.org)
- Tips on acquiring funding for children’s books
- Downloadable background information, research, and other materials that support early childhood literacy
- Tips for parents on choosing age-appropriate books for, and reading to, young children(www.reachoutandread.org)