Books Build Better Brains
AT REACH OUT AND READ, BOOKS ARE THE FIRST STEP ON A CHILD’S PATH TO SUCCESS
Learning begins at birth, and the first five years offer a critical window for brain development. Frequent exposure to words through reading aloud, talking, singing, and rhyming helps young children develop language skills that serve as a foundation for all learning and fosters a love of books that will last a lifetime. By teaching parents to read aloud to their babies and toddlers, Reach Out and Read’s doctors and nurses play a key role in ensuring the healthy development of Alabama’s youngest children.
The first 2,000 days of a child's life matter. Rapid brain development during those first five years offers a critical window for learning.
A baby's brain forms up to 700 neural connections each second, and by age 5 -- the start of kindergarten -- 90 percent of brain development has occurred. Learning begins at birth and every interaction, from smiles and laughs to bedtime stories, helps grow neural pathways.
Science has proven that early childhood experiences shape later learning, behavior and health. Without enriching home environments and nurturing relationships, children miss the opportunity to develop language sills critical to unlocking their potential.
Many American children, especially those growing up in low-income communities, enter kindergarten unprepared to learn and face immediate struggles with literacy -- difficulties that compound with time and contribute to increased school failure.
Reach Out and Read-Alabama builds on the unique relationship between parents and pediatric healthcare providers to develop early literacy skills, stimulating the optimal patters of brain development and strengthening parent-child relationships. Building language, literacy and social-emotional skills, starting at birth, is paramount to success in school and life.
By prescribing books and encouraging families to read aloud together, beginning with children at six months of age, Reach Out and Read-Alabama doctors and nurses offer the guidance and tools necessary to create a language-rich, supportive home environment.
Reach Out and Read creates readers -- and learners -- for life.
By providing books and encouraging families to read together, Reach Out and Read-Alabama is helping children acquire early language skills, developing positive associations with books and helping to build a strong foundation for school success.
Research shows that when pediatricians promote literacy in exam rooms via the Reach Out and Read model, parents are more apt to read aloud and young children have stronger language sills. These effects have been found in ethnically and economically diverse families and nationwide.
Fifteen independent peer-reviewed studies show that Reach Out and Read is effective in changing child outcomes and parental attitudes and practices, as well as improving the interaction between families and medical providers.