Following are ideas on how to promote early literacy in practice.
1. Implement a reading promotion program in your practice. Refer to Reach out and Read for more information.
2. Provide culturally and age-appropriate books and magazines in the waiting room. Refer to the Scolastics Books about Multicultural Topics.
3. Display posters or videos of parents and other caregivers and children reading together. Refer to the American Library Association store for materials or download the Raising a Happy, Healthy Child poster in English or Spanish.
4. Solicit volunteers to read aloud in the waiting area to model how parents and caregivers can read to their children. Review the Ten Read Aloud Commandments by Mem Fox.
5. Welcome children by entering the exam room with a book in your hand and use that book as a component of your developmental surveillance. The Literacy Code Card developed by Reach Out and Read can be your roadmap to meeting Bright Futures guidelines for developmental surveillance.
6. Encourage parents and other caregivers to read and talk to their children. Click here to find specific guidance for parents about reading with their children, which can also be personalized for your practice.
7. Encourage parents and other caregivers to visit their local library with their children. View PublicLibraries.com.
8. Tell parents and other caregivers how they can get a library card to share books with their children.
Meet with local child care providers to discuss how to work together to encourage parents and caregivers to read to their children. For more information, refer to the National Association for the Education of Young Children Web site.
10. Work with other local pediatricians and community organizations to hold a book drive to provide books to neighborhood children.