Pediatric Literacy
rainbow books

ReadWell

The Need

BookSpring’s ReadWell program supporting Central Texas Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in very young children from birth through age 6. Children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills.

There is a crisis in early literacy our country. More than one-third of American children enter kindergarten without the basic language skills they will need to learn to read. Reading difficulty contributes to academic failure, which increases the risk of absenteeism, dropping out, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy – all of which perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.

Approach

  • Statistics show that 96% of children under the age of 6 visit their pediatrician annually.
  • The BookSpring ReadWell Program ensures literacy becomes a standard part of a well child check up. Children are given a brand new book nine times between six months and five years of age. Physicians encourage parents to take the time to read to their children. Families learn how sharing books increases a child’s school readiness, bringing the child to same level of readiness as their peers.
  • BookSpring supports the early literacy efforts of providers in about 30 clinics in the Greater Austin area. All clinics serve Austin’s under insured families, those with Medicaid, Austin’s Medical Assistance Program or no insurance.

Impact

Each year over 18,000 children in the Greater Austin area will receive a book through BookSpring’s Clinics and Health partner area. Those children can now participate in the single most important activity for literacy development and success; being read to aloud from their very own book.

To find out more, contact Clinics & Health Partner Manager Cynthia Ivey at cynthia.ivey @ bookspring.org or (512) 472-1791 x 107.