“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.”