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Doctors prescribing books to help kids

Posted at 6:20 AM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 10:58:49-05

Pediatricians in Tucson are not just prescribing cough and cold medicine anymore-some are prescribing books.

A program called "Reach Out and Read" is helping doctors promote literacy for young children through Literacy Connects.

Families will come to their pediatrician for a check up and their doctor will make sure their child has a book to take home and read each time. Not only does this help promote literacy, but it helps make a doctor visit less intimidating for children.

Doctors say studies show two to three times more reading happens in a home where doctors “prescribe” reading to families.

Doctors involved in Reach Out and Read say their contact with so many families helps them get the message of supporting literacy out to families.

Doctors say introducing books to children is important even from a very young age.

For 6-9 month old kids, doctors say parents shouldn't be concerned if kids are putting books in their mouths--that's developmentally normal--just getting books in front of them is important.

For toddlers who may not want to sit on parents' laps and listen to stories, just reading while your kids are playing will help them get interested in stories and language.

If children aren't reading by the time they enter school, it's easy to fall behind, so that's why doctors here are getting involved.

Reach Out and Read is in 57 clinics serving 30,000 kids here in Tucson, but Literacy Connects wants to get more doctors involved.

If you’d like to learn more, visit the Literacy Connects website.