Born and raised in Mountain Brook, author, Allen Johnson, Jr. is well known by children and their parents growing up around Birmingham in the 90’s for his well-loved book series, Picker McClikker.
In an article in the Huffington Post, Johnson says, “I lived a life filled with adventure, travel and success, but my life peaked at nine.” In his book, Fun, a memoir and books of poems and essays, he often reflects on the unfettered joy of growing up under the “benign neglect” of his parents.
Drawing on his childhood memories, Johnson has written a series of three books, collectively known as the Blackwater Novels, which are reminiscent of Mark Twains’ works about boyhood in the 1930’s. While these books are targeted at fourth and fifth graders, they provide opportunities for parents and grandparents to share their childhood adventures with their children and grandchildren when read together.
Through a partnership with Reach Out and Read-Alabama, Johnson has graciously donated 100 of the Moonbeam Award-Winning second book in the Blackwater Novel series, The Dead House.
We are grateful for the donation and look forward to distributing Allen Johnson, Jr.'s book throughout the state this summer to program sites participating in our Rx for Summer Reading Campaign. While the program focuses on children from birth through five years of age, it is always beneficial to have an inventory of books to share with older siblings.
“This mom came in with her 12-month-old daughter and I could tell the baby was very familiar with books and that mom had been reading to her. She easily took the book and started pointing to all the pictures in the book I gave her. Then mom said that when they go out to eat, the baby loves to look at the menus and she showed me a picture in her iPhone. I asked her to send it to me and she did. They are lovely!”
~ Maria Meyers, MD, Jefferson County Department of Health, Western Health Center
We agree Dr. Meyers! According to Reach Out and Read’s Milestones of Early Literacy Development, children from 12-24 months should point and look at pictures, hold and walk with the book and turn the pages. Sheila is building Lisa’s brain by naming each item as she points to the pictures when they are at the restaurant. Because Sheila has been reading to Lisa daily with the books that have been prescribed by Dr. Meyers, she has learned how to use everyday moments to continue that process of learning and language development with her daughter.
"Instead of just an admonishment to read the books, the Reach Out and Read program uses them as a bridge to connect parents and children," said Dr. Dipesh Navasaria, Medical Director of Reach Out and Read-Wisconsin, in a recent article in the Herald-Tribune. Navasaria stresses that programs aimed at babies and young children should really be honing in on parents as the lever that affects a child’s success most.
"We need to help parents view themselves in that role. Every piece of advice, every program, every policy should only strengthen parent-child bonds. Period.”
Following medical school at the University of Aleppo and a pediatric residency at the Medical Center of Delaware, Lofti Bashir, MD, FAAP was recruited by Vaughn Regional Medical Center in Selma. “After a few days in the nursery at the hospital and visiting the area, I felt that there was a need for a pediatrician to serve the children and families here,” said Dr. Bashir. “I convinced my wife, who grew up in New York, to come with me for one year.”Read More
Using the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Brush, Bed and Book model and thanks to support from the DentaQuest Foundation, the Alabama Chapter-AAP and Reach Out and Read-Alabama, in cooperation with the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, will distribute free materials to 12 practices across the state and guide them on talking with families about early literacy, oral health, and nighttime routinesRead More
Elizabeth Dawson, MD, FAAP and Area 5 Representative for the Alabama Chapter-AAP is the medical consultant for Reach Out and Read-Alabama at Charles Henderson Child Health Center in Troy. A program site since 2001, five providers prescribe 1,400 brand-new books to the children and families that they serve each year.
“As a pediatrician. we have the opportunity to instruct our families regarding the care of their children ~ what to do and what not to do. Through our Reach Out and Read program, I not only have the opportunity to instruct the parent about the importance of reading and sharing a book together every day, but I also get to give them the tool (book) to accomplish this important task. Nothing but good things come from this program and now I consider it an essential part of a well child visit.”
On March 6, Gadsden Pediatric Clinic kicked off their Reach Out and Read-Alabama program with a “Seuss-tastic” celebration, joining other children and families across the nation for the 20th year of Read Across America.Read More
We had a great 2017 and it was donors like you who made it possible! Our year at Reach Out and Read-Alabama touched the lives of so many.
Together we provided 150,000 new books to children at their well-child visits and 214,000 opportunities to educate parents to build better brains and brighter futures.
When a trusted physician or other medical provider offers guidance about reading aloud to infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and provides a book to read, parents have an opportunity to give their children the best start in life.Read More
In addition to prescribing books and instruction to parents, families will have an opportunity to receive more books by registering for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) through United Way. "Once parents understand the impact that reading daily has on brain and language development through Reach Out and Read, books from DPIL is an added bonus."
Five providers will be prescribing over 2,000 books annually at Dr. Gary Eberly's office in Foley,
With the addition of this practice, four pediatric practices in Baldwin County now particpate in Reach Out and Read. Like in Etowah County, the United Way of Baldwin County partners with Reach Out and Read-Alabama to provide books to each of these practices.
Supportive parenting prevents the reduced growth of certain areas of the brain that occurs as a response to living in poverty. This new research shows that positive parenting can overcome the effects of poverty on healthy brain development in adolescents.Read More
Success of Alabama’s children has been given a tremendous boost with the enrollment of 25 percent of our four-year-olds in quality K-4 programs for this fall. Bu what about the other 75 percent?Read More
According to Dr. Seuss in I Can Read with My Eyes Shut!, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” That’s a philosophy Brewton pediatrician Marsha Raulerson, MD, FAAP can easily get behind.Read More
We need your gift of $100, just $10 per year, to celebrate the last ten years of providing a foundation of success for Alabama’s neediest children and to expand the program throughout the state.Read More
Representative April Weaver, House District 49, was on hand to help Cahaba Medical Care (CMC) launch their Reach Out and Read-Alabama program and help celebrate the program’s summer reading event.Read More