Organizations make books part of healthcare for children

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A visit to the doctor was paired with a lesson in literacy Monday at Dayton’s Five Rivers Health Center.

The center hosted a Little Bear Healthy Clinic Monday, reading to children and guiding them through a Teddy Bear “check-up,” partnering with Buckeye Health and Reach Out and Read.

“You have to build that foundation. It has to start at home. So I’m hoping more parents will be reading out loud to their kids,” says Anisa Ballard, Community Relations Representative for Buckeye Health Plan.

Research shows 37% of Ohio kindergartners are not on track at the beginning of the school year when it comes to literacy and language.

“Reading to your kids at a young age, you’re preparing them for school,” states Ballard as she was out at the event encouraging literacy.

One-year-old Kennedy McGuire was visiting the doctor but also took part in the clinic. She is already developing a love for reading.

“We got her books at home, especially her favorite Doctor McStuffy,” says her father Victor McGuire.

Experts say McGuire is doing it right, getting his daughter interested in reading at a young age.

“It helps the mind and it helps them develop, especially when they get older and get into school,” says McGuire.

Throughout the month of September, about 5,000 books will be distributed to children at pediatric clinics statewide, to encourage families to read aloud together.

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