Early Literacy Program to be a Part of Well-Child Visits in Stanly County
Stanly County Partnership For Children (SCPC) received $11,250.00 to expand work through the early literacy intervention Reach Out and Read (ROR). This was part of the recent award of a total of over $460,000 to Smart Start partnerships across North Carolina.
ROR is a national program that supports doctors in their efforts to support parents and caregivers in healthy bonding and brain development as they “prescribe” reading together daily with young children and families during well-child visits. SCPC will work with Albemarle Pediatrics to promote early brain development, literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms by giving books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. This includes book sharing, free books for children to keep, and waiting rooms full of books.
Reverend Michael Scott, SCPC Board Chair, stated, “During the time a baby is born and when he or she will begin kindergarten, there are only 2,000 days, making this a critical stage of brain development. It has been the goal of SCPC for close to 25 years to focus on the needs of young children and their families. Reach Out and Read is another opportunity in the continuum of early literacy services offered to families in Stanly County to provide additional tools needed to maximize the first 2000 days of a child’s life.”
In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Smart Start served over 70,000 children through ROR. In addition, families participating in ROR were 84 percent more likely to be using one or more recommended reading strategies compared to those new to the program. These new funds will expand the program in many communities with awards going to 18 SmartStart local partnerships to serve 35 pediatric clinics.
“Early literacy skills are critical for the development of healthy minds and bodies, and enable our children to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills,” stated Callee Boulware, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Carolinas. “We are thrilled to have the state-wide partnership with Smart Start that supports strong, high-quality Reach Out and Read programs in communities, better supporting children and families across the state.”