By Barrett White
On March 1, Legacy’s Little Readers program will participate in Read Across America Day from 10AM to 12PM. Across ten of Legacy’s Houston-area clinics, volunteers will read to Legacy’s pediatric patients and promote the culture of reading among families and community. Legacy expects to provide more than 900 children with books and other Dr. Seuss reading materials such as bookmarks, stickers, and activity booklets.
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. According to the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation, poverty is a root cause of low literacy in Houston. The Foundation says that about 60% of children in the Greater Houston Area lack requisite reading skills upon entering kindergarten.
Acting on that research, Legacy’s “Little Readers” initiative, in partnership with H-E-B and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, writes prescriptions to the clinic’s low-income pediatric patients six months to 12-years old. When kids come in for a well-child visit, they receive a book at no cost. The initiative so far has provided families with more than 81,000 books.
“Legacy is committed to addressing literacy in the health care setting,” says Legacy Chief Development Officer Chree Boydstun. “As a health center, we understand that while we focus on your health here in the clinic, the health of the community outside the exam room is just as important. Literacy is an essential tool that cannot be overlooked.”