MCHD celebrates 15 years as Reach Out and Read participant 06.13.2023

June 13, 2023

MCHD celebrates 15 years as Reach Out and Read participant

MOBILE, Ala. — Similar to the well-known children’s book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” — which shares illustrates of what happens when you give that little mouse a cookie — this summer, the Reach Out and Read-Alabama’s (ROR-AL) annual summer reading campaign answers what takes place if you give a child a book.

“If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” activities and events sponsored by the Mobile County Health Department are being held by Keeler Pediatrics at the Dearborn YMCA’s Summer Program (321 North Warren Street in Mobile) on June 14, the Semmes Health Center (3810 Wulff Road East) on June 20, and the Eight Mile Health Center (4009 Saint Stephens Road) on June 21.

The evidence-based Reach Out and Read program builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children beginning in infancy. With more than 30 peer-reviewed studies and a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Reach Out and Read is an effective intervention incorporating early literacy into pediatric practice and equipping parents with tools and knowledge to ensure their children are prepared to learn when they start school. During regular, one-on-one visits with the doctor, families grow to understand the significant role they play in supporting their child’s growth and development and building resilience.

In 2023, the Mobile County Health Department Health Centers at Eight Mile, Semmes, and Keeler Pediatrics are celebrating 15 years as Reach Out and Read-Alabama program sites. Over these years, starting with the newborn well-child visit, the medical providers have given children books while helping families understand the importance of reading aloud with their child and the impact of the everyday moments they share. This is one of the single-most important actions families can take to support the critical development of their child’s brain and to develop safe, stable, and nurturing relationships that last a lifetime.

Amy Crosby, the Statewide Coordinator for Reach Out and Read-Alabama, will appear in a special Wellness Wednesday episode on MCHD’s YouTube channel at 1 p.m.