RICHMOND, Va. -- Some Richmond pediatrician offices are fully booked in more ways than one. They're prescribing books at well-child visits to children starting at birth through age five.
"Encouraging positive child-parent interaction,” said Dr. Bergen Nelson. “Really thinking about early literacy and readiness and assessing children's development."
Reach Out and Read Virginia gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
"It promotes healthy vocabulary, like robust vocabulary," added Nelson. “It encourages literacy as a love of reading, and a love of books is a child's favorite activity. It encourages social and emotional development. Secures bonds between parents and children."
A children's book is a powerful tool for both parents and doctors.
"We know that stimulation is really key in terms of synapse formation and early childhood brain development. There's so much development happening in the first years of life before a child even gets to school."
That's why this program is so important according to Nelson. And so satisfying.
"The reason I became a pediatrician is to think about child development. And how we can promote children to reach their fullest potential and achieve their best outcomes."
Building a love of reading... is Building Better Minds.
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