Like carpenters have toolkits to build houses, doctors need
toolkits to help build brains.
Earlier this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics at its
national conference in San Diego unveiled its new Books Build
Connections literacy toolkit, aimed at providing practical
literacy resources for pediatricians and parents on the importance
of talking, reading, and singing with their children to promote
According to the AAP, the toolkit - which was produced in
collaboration with Reach Out and Read - includes "12 tip
sheets, parent handouts and other publications in easy-to-use,
mobile-friendly formats to help pediatricians promote early
Among the resources in the toolkit:
- 16 concrete ways pediatric health professionals can promote
early literacy in their practice and community;
- Background for pediatric professionals on the science of early
- Parent-friendly tips on sharing books with children at specific
ages and stages of development, from birth through age 10;
- Advice for parents on "the secret to a smarter baby";
- Recommendations on choosing books for children based on age and
topic, including specific titles;
- Tips from doctors on reading with very young children,
including the 5 Rs of early education.
"Pediatricians want all parents and caregivers to know that by
making special one-on-one time every day to read, talk and play
with their young children, they are promoting their child's early
learning. This kind of treasured experience actually creates new
connections in their child's brain that promote language
development and secure the bond between parent and child," said
Pamela High, MD, FAAP, lead author of the AAP's early literacy
policy statement. "By creating the Books Build
Connections toolkit, the AAP and Too Small to
Fail, in collaboration with Reach Out and Read, are getting
the word out to families that early experiences really matter."
The literacy toolkit incorporates new
recommendations on early literacy issued by the AAP in June. In
that policy statement, the AAP emphasized literacy-beginning from
an infant's very first days-as an "essential" component of primary
care visits. As part of the partnership with Too Small to
Fail and AAP, Scholastic, Inc. agreed to donate 500,000
new, age-appropriate children's books for distribution through
Reach Out and Read, which works with 20,000 medical providers
nationwide to promote early reading and give books to 4 million
children and their families annually at pediatric visits.
Click here to view the toolkit.
Click here to watch former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton announce the launch of the toolkit.