Reach Out and Read in NYC

August 11, 2009 2:57:27 PM PDT
Hospitals can be a scary place. But a local hospital is also proving it can be a place to learn and have some fun reading. When kids get medical treatment and exams at Metropolitan Hospital, they also get to hear a story. And they get a free book to take home with them.

It's all part of what is called Reach Out and Read. Metropolitan Hospital is one of 176 medical facilities that host the program.

"We serve over 270,000 children a year, and we're giving over 450,000 books out," executive director Traci Lester said.

Experts have said over and over again that reading to children, even as infants, can not only establish an appreciation for books, but it sets the stage for success in school.

"Children who have been in the Reach Out and Read program, studies have shown, that they actually have better vocabularies as they go into their pre-school years," pediatrician Dr. Judith Frank said.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Reach Out and Read in New York. It was created for medical centers to target children and their parents.

"And so we know that they will listen to their doctor when they're given advice about something, and if your doctor is telling you that you should be reading to your child every day, chances are you're going to do it," Lester said.

For more information on the program, visit ReachOutAndReadNYC.org.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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