Back-to-School Checkups Get a Healthy Dose of Books

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Reach Out and Read of Greater New York celebrates Early Literacy Awareness Week, August 11th – 17th, with a distribution of 20,000 books to New York health centers.

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A Reach Out and Read pediatrician prescribes a book to a young patient, at the Ryan Women and Children's Center in New York City

While only about half of preschool-aged children actually attend preschool, 96% visit their pediatrician at least once a year.

“Mama called the doctor and the doctor said…” Read to your children!

That’s the message Reach Out and Read of Greater New York wants to spread to families across the region with events during their Early Literacy Awareness Week, this August 11th – 17th. Children will enjoy well-loved books like “Five Little Monkeys” (whose mama called the doctor) at readings in hospitals and health centers throughout NYC, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley. The week will conclude with a distribution of over 20,000 children’s books to Reach Out and Read program locations.

“While only about half of preschool-aged children actually attend preschool, 96% visit their pediatrician at least once a year,” points out Reach Out and Read of Greater New York’s Executive Director, Traci Lester. “Pediatricians have access to families. They’re in the best position to deliver the message that reading aloud to your children is one of the most effective ways to prepare them for school.”

All of the Early Literacy Awareness Week readings will take place in hospitals and health centers that offer the Reach Out and Read early literacy program to their patients. Children who visit these clinics receive a free book to keep, and their families receive counseling on how to use books to improve language and early literacy development so that children start school ready to learn. Most of the children served by the program are from low-income families in underserved communities.

Currently scheduled events include:

Tue., Aug. 13, 10am – Brooklyn – BROOKLYN HOSPITAL BAKE SALE at Brooklyn Hospital to raise money for children's books for pediatric patients
Tue., Aug. 13, 2-5pm – Manhattan – END OF SUMMER BOOK FAIR at Ryan/Chelsea-Clinton Community Health Center, with a children’s book reading by Tania Grossinger
Tue., Aug. 13, 2pm – Long Island – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME with NY State Assembly Member Chad Lupinacci at the Dolan Family Health Center
Wed., Aug. 14, 10:30 – Bronx – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME: Urban Health Plan Bella Vista, Bella Vista Community Health hosts children’s book author Artie Bennett
Wed., Aug. 14, 11am – Long Island City – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME: The Floating Hospital Community Clinic hosts children’s book author Reshma Sapre
Wed., Aug. 14, 1pm – Brooklyn – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME: Lutheran HealthCare Park Slope Family Health Center hosts children's book author/illustrator Selina Alko
Wed., Aug. 14, 1pm – Manhattan – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME: Beth Israel Pediatric Associates hosts children’s book author Dave Reisman
Wed., Aug. 14, 2pm – Brooklyn – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME: Brooklyn Hospital‘s Pediatric Department hosts children’s book author Melanie Hope Greenberg
Wed., Aug. 14, 3:30pm – Amenia – CHILDREN’S STORYTIME with NY State Assembly Member Didi Barrett at Hudson River HealthCare, Amenia Health Center
Fri., Aug. 16, 10am – 4pm – Brooklyn – REACH OUT AND READ BOOK DISTRIBUTION: Volunteers will help distribute thousands of books to hospitals and health centers (call for location details)

More events will be added in the days leading up to Early Literacy Awareness Week.

For calendar updates and additional information, visit Reach Out and Read of Greater New York: http://reachoutandreadnyc.org/about/news/events/.

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Asari Beale
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