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Grant boosts clinic’s childhood literacy efforts

 

By Alex Welch
Assistant Editor   

  In recognition of childhood literacy promotion, Target Corp. awarded The Kids Specialists, Henry Pediatrics a $2,000 grant for its Reach Out and Read program. The Stockbridge clinic plans to use the funds to purchase books that will be given to patients during their visits.

  Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit organization of medical providers, promotes early literacy and school readiness to patients at their clinics. The program involves giving new books to children and teaching parents about the importance or reading regularly to their children.

Dr. Catherine T. Mauer (left) monitors Marcia Pope and her 4-year-old daughter, Morgan, as they read a new book together at Henry Pediatrics.                                 Photo by Alex Welch

  Dr. Catherine T. Mauer, a pediatrician at Henry Pediatrics, said her clinic has been partnering with Reach Out and Read for three years, and the results of the program have been encouraging. Developing a child’s reading skills at a young age is crucial to their success in school, according to Mauer.

  “We’ve seen very positive results. There have been studies done in the past to show that in areas where these programs exist, the children score higher on their reading tests,” said Mauer.  “We want to start a foundation of reading before they get into kindergarten. If they’re just starting then, it’s too late.”

  Mauer said when children start coming in for follow-up visits, the clinic provides their parents with books and encourages them to read aloud, starting just months after birth.

  Along with the free books the clinic provides, Henry Pediatrics also has its own library for children to borrow books from. Reading is encouraged from the time patients step in the lobby.

  “In my clinic, I have loads of books in the waiting room. We have a library here where parents can borrow or read books while they’re waiting here. That’s all incorporated in the setting,” said Mauer.

  Mauer said her clinic will spend the grant money on acquiring more books for patients, and she will continue to apply for additional funding in the future.

  According to Mauer, Henry Pediatrics is the only clinic in the Southern Crescent that partners with Reach Out and Read. For more information on the program, visit www.reachoutandread.org. To find out more about Henry Pediatrics, visit www.thekidsspecialists.com.

 

 

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