Reach Out and Read-Alabama pediatric practices and clinics will celebrate 11 years of stories this summer with its eighth annual summer campaign that promotes families reading together. Since 2006, our pediatric healthcare providers have prescribed over 1.7 million brand-new books to the state’s youngest and most underserved children. This year, copies of the book Sometimes I Feel Sunny by Gillian Shields will be prescribed by pediatric healthcare providers statewide, who will also write a prescription for children to become involved in the summer reading program, “Build a Better World,” at their local library.
Teaming up with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the lead agency for Alabama’s Early Intervention System, Reach Out and Read-Alabama practices and clinics will host events that will help parents identify early developmental milestones, as well as providing Early Intervention referral information and access to services and supports through Child Find (1-800-543-3098) when needed. According to the Urban Child Institute, children’s experiences in their earliest years affect how their brains work, the way they respond to stress, and their ability to form trusting relationships. During these years, the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth, setting the stage for social and emotional development. Language blossoms, basic motor abilities form, thinking becomes more complex, and children begin to understand their own feelings and those of others.