Reading and playing promote positive outcomes ~ Newest research confirms Reach Out and Read's effectiveness

In Pediatrics, February 2016, longtime Reach Out and Read supporter Dr. Alan Mendelsohn reporteresults from a randomized study on the Video Interaction Project at Bellevue Hospital in New York. This randomized controlled trial demonstrated the effects of pediatric-based interventions focused on promoting positive parenting through reading and play on socio-emotional outcome. The report showed that helping parents to read and play with their young children prevents behavior problems such as hyperactivity for children growing up in poverty. 

"We know that research on early brain development shows that early experiences with books and strong family relationships directly impact brain development and function," said Tonya Dobbs, MD, FAAP, medical coordinator for Eight Mile Clinic, a Mobile County Health Department clinic. "Many of our parents and caregivers live in poverty with limited resources. These families struggle to find the resources for food and their transportation needs. Providing books and encouraging parents to read together also empowers the parent to be their child’s first teacher." 

According to Voices for Alabama’s Children 2015 Kids Count Data Book, 20.8 percent of Mobile County’s children live in poverty. Dr. Dobbs has prescribed over 8,000 books to the children and families that they serve in Eight Mile since implementing Reach Out and Read in the clinic nine years ago.