The Southern Colorado Regional Reach Out and Read Conference held recently in Cañon City was a great success. Dr. Stella Ocampo, a pediatrician who practices at the the La Junta Clinic, received the 2016 Southern Regional Literacy Champion Award. Dr. Ocampo is an outstanding advocate for early literacy and the Reach Out and Read Program. The Keynote Address was given by Nancy Maday, Children’s Services Division Head at Pikes Peak Library District.
The Community Partnership Panel consisted of Deborah Black, Valley-Wide’s Nurse Family Partnership Director, Jennifer Sanchez McDonald, Huerfano/Las Animas Early Childhood Council and Angie Shehorn, Children First/Pueblo Early Childhood Council.
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.
Reach Out and Read builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age.
Reach Out and Read serves more than 4 million children and their families annually. Reach Out and Read families read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills. During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school.
Valley-Wide Health Systems received special thanks as the presenting sponsor and for making the first Southern Colorado Regional Conference a success. Contact the La Junta Clinic at 719-383-5900 and learn more about the Reach Out and Read program.