Local doctors prescribe books, reading for children

Local doctors prescribe books, reading for children Physicians from Sioux Valley Vermillion Clinic � USD Student Health in December 2003 launched Reach Out and Read (ROR), a national pediatric literacy program that encourages parents to read to their children at an early age. Physicians distribute new books to children ages 6 months to 5 years and offer reading tips to parents during routine pediatric visits. Through ROR, every child begins kindergarten with a home library of at least 10 children's books.

"Reading to children is a wonderful opportunity for bonding and encouraging imagination and reading skills. We are excited to participate in this program to connect children with books at an early age," said Dr. Vicki Walker, Sioux Valley Vermillion Clinic.

In May 2003, First Lady Jean Rounds launched a coordinated effort to bring the Reach Out and Read Program to South Dakota. Letters were sent to clinics and physicians across the state, inviting them to participate in the Reach Out and Read South Dakota Project. Gov. Michael Rounds and the first lady made a personal commitment to supply new children's books to participating clinics.

Application assistance and help with program administration are also available through the SD project. For more information about the Reach Out and Read South Dakota Project, contact the Office of child Care Services at 1-800-227-3020.

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