Doctors are now prescribing books at well-child visits at HRMC's Coastal Plains Primary Care
February 15, 2023 Varnville, SC
From left: Pediatrician Dr. Anne Abao-Beauchamp and Clinical Coordinator Tonya Faircloth from Coastal Plains Primary CareFrom left: Pediatrician Dr. Anne Abao-Beauchamp and Clinical Coordinator Tonya Faircloth from Coastal Plains Primary Care
- Getting books from the doctor will soon be a routine part of regular pediatric checkups at Coastal Plains Primary Care located on the campus of Hampton Regional Medical Center in Affiliation with MUSC Health, as doctors and nurses welcome the Reach Out and Read to the practice. The practice joins more than 740 program sites across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. preparing our youngest children to succeed in school.
By incorporating Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, doctors are advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally appropriate and diverse books to children, essentially providing families with "prescriptions to read." Reach Out and Read begins at birth and continues through age 5. Books are provided for children starting at 6 months of age. Studies show that families served by Reach Out and Read read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.
"Supporting families from the beginning matters," says Coastal Plains Primary Care ROR Site Medical Director, Dr. Anne Abao-Beauchamp. "Prescribing reading together as a family is one of the most important prescriptions I write. As a pediatrician, I know how critical nurturing from a loving parent or caregiver is the early years to support healthy brain, strengthen those important caregiver/child bonds, and build routines and resilience. And, one of the best ways of engaging with young children is through looking at books together."
Our pediatric healthcare providers are trained in the three-part Reach Out and Read model to promote early literacy and school readiness:
In the exam room, the provider speaks with parents about the importance of reading aloud to their young children every day, offers anticipatory guidance and emphasizes how reading brings families together.
The pediatric primary care provider gives every child, six-months-old through 5-years-old a new, culturally and developmentally appropriate book to take home, building a collection of 10-15 new books in the home before the child goes to kindergarten.
Clinic environments support resource-rich messaging to families, aiding providers in delivering community health resources and assisting parents in daily literacy activities with their children.
"Reach Out and Read is an efficient and innovative intervention," said Reach Out and Read Regional Executive Director Callee Boulware. "Everyday moments created together around a book have the potential to build resilience in both children and adults, buffer stress, and support safe, stable and nurturing relationships that allow children to thrive."
Reach Out and Read has a two-generational effect. Children receive developmentally and culturally appropriate books provided at each visit to the doctor between the ages of 0-5, and their parents receive advice and training about the most effective strategies impacting healthy brain development during the critical first years of life.
About Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C. is the regional coalition supporting over 740 clinical programs across the region. The medically based literacy intervention spread from its foundation in Boston in 1989 and was replicated in communities across the country. The Reach Out and Read model is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the intervention has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention.
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To learn more about Coastal Plains Primary Care and Hampton Regional Medical Center in Affiliation with MUSC Health, visit www.hamptonregional.org.