Like a group of teenagers in awe of their favorite idol, these children hung on every word of Congressman Mike Rogers as he read them a story about a duck becoming president. It's all part of a program called Reach Out and Read. The first in our area is starting at the Well Child Health Center of Ingham County. And Congressman Rogers is thrilled.
"It's a new concept in providing healthcare that is to fully integrate the idea of reading into a healthy future for these kids."
Reach Out and Read will provide a new book to children every time they come in for what's called a "Well Child Check." During the ages of six months to five years, there's ten of these visits adding to a total of ten brand new books. And according to Dr. Peter Jennings of WCHCIC, parents are four times more likely to read to their kids if a clinic is involved.
"It increases vocabulary. It increases school readiness. It increases school performance."
The clinic expects to give away more than 2,000 books this year.