Reach Out and Read
This national literacy program trains doctors and nurses to advise parents on the importance of reading aloud. The program began in 1989 at Boston City Hospital when nurses and doctors brought books to the pediatric waiting area so that children and parents could read together while waiting for an appointment.
The program emphasizes the importance of literacy as part of preventive checkups for children 6 months to 5 years of age. New developmentally appropriate books are presented to these young patients at each well-child checkup.
In March 2002, Community Healthcare Center launched this program for its pediatric patients. The Wichita Falls Kiwanis Club contributed the needed seed money and volunteers consistent with its objective of promoting literacy to children. An additional grant, covering books, was procured from the Reach Out and Read Foundation for the first year. The Junior League of Wichita Falls adopted the program for four years, contributing funding and volunteers to read to children in patient waiting areas.