Reach Out and Read at ARC Manor
September 01, 2017
When families read aloud to their young children, they can give them a better start to life. With unparalleled access to families with young children, Reach Out and Read medical providers are able give books to children at doctor visits. More importantly, they encourage families to read aloud and engage with their infants, toddlers and preschoolers every day.
Two such local providers are Dr. Jacques Benun and Dr. Jacqueline Champlain. Both are located at the ARC Manor clinic, where they see and interact with families every day. Dr. Benun explained that he contacted Reach Out and Read when the clinic opened. He found that although the Texas chapter does not provide any financial help; they were able to put him in contact with BookSpring, located in Austin. BookSpring provides the ARC Manor office with a shipment of books every few months for a small fee. The doctors also supplement these books with their own donations.
Dr. Benun, a Pediatrician explains, “We put together shelves where books are organized by age group, and Dr. Champlain and I will pick a book to give to the child of the family that we are seeing at the time of their visit. The parents and their child get very excited and it gives us the chance to promote parents to read to their children.”
Dr. Champlain, a Family Medicine physician, adds, “Our participation in this program is rooted in the deep belief of physicians that literacy is crucial to health, and reading a traditional book is a healthy activity for families. The kids are truly grateful for this small gift; often those who are the most grateful are the ones who need this small attention the most.”
Dr. Benun agrees, saying, “Personally, I have been doing something similar almost my entire career since I trained at Boston University, the site where this idea started in the early ‘90s.”
Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. BookSpring is also a nonprofit organization that builds literacy in children and families.