Do you remember what it was like to sit on your parent’s lap and read a book together?
I have such strong memories of what that felt like, and that is why, as Reach Out and Read Georgia’s Medical Director and President of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I love what Reach Out and Read means for my patients and their families. Having that joy of reading, that warm interaction with a parent, that feeling you can count on every single evening- that is what Reach Out and Read provides across our country.
You may remember that feeling. You may be giving that feeling to a young child now or you may be recalling that feeling from long ago when you had a little one on your lap. Such joy.
I promote this love of reading together at every single check-up because, as you know, it is so important to have this positive interaction with people who love you no matter what your culture, income level, or where you live.
Recently, I walked into an exam room with Read to Me Bunny to give six-month old Jacob. His face broke into a smile when he reached for the book! I let his mom know that he will be receiving a book at every checkup and how reading aloud to him is crucial for his healthy brain development. At home, Jacob will sit on his mom’s lap and feel the special connection shared during reading as his brain grows.
One of the most important and joyful things I do as a pediatrician is modeling reading aloud and empowering parents to experience this joy for themselves at home with their little ones. It is compassionate people like you who make it possible for me to give Jacob this book and his family this special together time. I hope that you will make a gift today so my colleagues and I can continue to do this every day, at every check-up in every state in our union.
Terri D. McFadden, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics at Emory School of Medicine
Medical Director of Primary Care at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding
P.S. Please help spread this love of book sharing to more families and give a gift to Reach Out and Read today. Your investment in babies like Jacob is critical.