Thursday, the Kiwanis of San Marcos led by President Pam Cook, hosted speaker Bonnie Flammang of San Marcos. She represented the Bluebonnet Lions Club that has spearheaded a program of Reach Out and Read in our area.
Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a national non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud in pediatric exam rooms across the nation.
Flammang said, ‘This is a national program and many area pediatricians are using this program and we want other civic groups in San Marcos to get involved.”
Doctors and nurses know that growing up healthy means growing up with books. The ROR program provides the tools to help promote children’s developmental skills and later school success.
Reach Out and Read (ROR) programs make early literacy a standard part of pediatric primary care. Following the ROR model, pediatricians, family physicians and nurses advise parents that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do to help their children love books and to start school ready to learn.
Children who have been read aloud to are also more likely to develop a love of reading, which can be even more important than the head start in language and literacy. And the advantages they gain persist, with children who start out as poor readers in their first year of school likely to remain so.
The ROR Model
Pediatricians and other clinicians are trained in the three part ROR model in an effort to promote pediatric literacy:
1. At every well-child check-up, doctors and nurses encourage parents to read aloud to their young children, and offer age-appropriate tips and encouragement. Parents who may have difficulty reading are encouraged to invent their own stories to go with picture books and spend time naming objects with their children.
2. Pediatricians, family physicians and nurses give every child between the ages of six months and five years a new, developmentally appropriate children’s book to keep.
3. In literacy rich waiting room environments, often with volunteer readers, parents and children learn about the pleasures and techniques of looking at books together.
But the highlight of the meeting was when Kiwanis member presented San Marcos Public Library Director of Public Relations Susan Smith a check for $1,500 to help fund the children’s summer reading program.
Smith said,” We don’t know what we would do without the Kiwanis.”
Special thanks to Minae McOsker for contribution to this story.
From Staff Reports
ROR volunteer speaker Bonnie Flammang speaks to the Kiwansis about the benefits of the national reading program.
Glen Rydl of Kiwanis of presents a $1500 check to Susan Smith of the San Marcos Public Library to help fund their summer reading program for area children.