Last updated: January 02. 2014 6:59PM - 593 Views
Natalie Netzel Staff Writer

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Natalie Netzel

Staff Writer

NEWBERRY — The 15-minute read aloud program is a national initiative that is also taking the Carolinas by storm.

Each year Reach Out and Read South Carolina serves over 98,000 children at 134 clinics in South Carolina and over 60 percent of the S.C. Medicaid population is currently being served by a Reach Out and Read program, according to the program’s website.

In Newberry, there is a coalition at Pediatrics of Newberry where people can donate books or volunteer to read. There are also other coalitions outside Newberry County as well.

The idea behind the mission is to introduce children to reading before they get to kindergarten by at least reading 15 minutes a day.

Also with pediatricians incorporating the movement, children can be read to anywhere including the doctor’s office or waiting room.

On a national level, 37 percent of children arrive in kindergarten without the skills necessary to begin their learning journey, according to Reach Out and Read. If a child is not reading at grade level by the end of the first grade, then there is an 88 percent probability the child will not be reading at grade level by the end of the fourth grade.

When young children are read to, they gain language development, a love of reading, knowledge and information, literacy skills including vocabulary, phonics and familiarity with printed words, brain development and bonding, according to the program.

The goal is to have every American child ready to read when entering kindergarten and continuing to build skills throughout early school years. This is only possible by beginning to read to children at birth.

Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning.

Even in higher income households, nearly 40 percent of families do not read aloud every day.

More than half the children in this country 13 million children will not hear a bedtime story tonight.

For more information about the local movement, contact Pediatrics of Newberry at 405-0220 or visit www.rorcarolinas.org.

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