New York State Sen. Jack Martins recently paid a visit to Winthrop-University Hospital’s Pediatric department on September 17 to read to some pediatric patients as part of the hospital’s ‘Reach Out and Read’ program.
The program was founded by Dr. William Bryson-Brockmann, Winthrop’s Chief of Behavioral Pediatrics, with the intention of helping child patients develop language skills and an interest in reading.
Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.
The program’s philosophy is that when parents read aloud to their children, they are helping them.
“When we talk about health, we’re not just thinking of if the child is sick,” Dr. Bryson-Brockmann said in a statement. “We want them to be successful in life.” The program provides young patients with a new book to take home each time they have a check-up at Winthrop.
More than 6.2 million books are given nationally to 3.9 million children every year.
Winthrop estimates it gives out 13,000 books a year to young children during their check-ups.
“We really encourage the parents to read to their kids,” Dr. Bryson-Brockmann said. “It all comes down to the fact that if you read to them, they’ll do better in school.”