The Southern Ute Health Clinic has started a Reach out and Read program to promote literacy in young children. Having a parent read to a child starting at a young age has been shown to help the child’s brain develop at a faster rate as the child enters school.
Between birth to three years old the brain produces 700 new neural connections every second! 90% of a child’s brain develops before the age of five years old.
Reading helps develop the brain!
Every child will get a new book at every “well child visit” between the ages of six months to five years of age.
We also have gently used books that you can have anytime you want by coming into the clinic and asking or when you are there for a visit. All children between the age of 0-18 years can have a book anytime they want!
A few tips for reading with your family are:
- It is never too early to start reading. Babies love to cuddle and hear your voice. Looking at board books are fun for the young child and gives you both time alone. Read if only for a few minutes a day. Young children may only sit still for a few minutes, but they will listen longer as they grow older.
- Babies and toddlers need help to turn the pages of a board book. A three-year-old likes to turn pages without any help. Read favorite stories over and over. Children love to hear the same stories over and over and this is how they learn. Ask your children questions about the story such as, “where is the moon?” “what do you think will happen next?” Give your child plenty of time to answer.
- Make the story come alive! Use a silly voice, speak with excitement in your voice, read softly or loud! Whatever suits the story you can make it more interesting and come alive!! Talk about the pictures. You can even make up stories to go with the pictures. Read anywhere, anytime. Playtime, bedtime and naptime, waiting in a doctor or dentist office. Read under a tree or in the car. Reading is fun anytime!
- Use of cell phones and pads in younger children can have an impact that can be detrimental to their development. Diagnoses of ADHD, developmental delays, unintelligible speech, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorders, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders are associated with technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate.
- Reading helps develops a child’s imagination and plants the love of reading early in a child’s life. All the providers at the Southern Ute Health Center are Reach Out and Read providers and can talk to you about the importance of reading in a child’s life.
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