By Kevin Nix, Senior Director of Communications
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the connection between literacy and child development is an essential part of health care. Reading and talking with young children from birth builds new connections in the brain, stimulating early language learning and motivation to learn.
“Legacy’s Little Readers,” sponsored by H-E-B and in partnership with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, has put 32,000 free books into the hands of its pediatric patients in Houston over the past two years. What’s exciting is the effort to take this initiative, based on the Reach-Out-and-Read model, statewide.
State Rep. John Raney, R-Bryan, has filed legislation that encourages health care practitioners statewide to provide books to their pediatric patients and to set up reading corners in waiting rooms.
“My bill establishes a competitive grant program that enables pediatricians to provide books to families during well-child visits,” said Rep. Raney. “This novel – and tested – approach of writing prescriptions for reading is needed in Texas. We should be doing everything we can to improve early childhood development and that includes looking at opportunities in trusted health care settings.”
Legacy’s director of public affairs, Januari Leo, is scheduled to testify in support of Raney’s bill this afternoon. We thank Rep. Raney for his leadership.