Duke Children’s Primary Care celebrated its second annual Literacy Week with guest readers from Book Harvest, Duke Athletics and Durham County Government. The readers appeared at Duke Children's Primary Care on Roxboro Street, along with the Durham County Library Book Mobile, to encourage a love of books and reading in kids.
Literacy Week is part of Duke Children's Reach Out and Read, a program that provides children new books when they come in for their regular health checkups, from the time they are infants until they're ready for kindergarten. The goal is for children to have a personal collection of 10 to 15 books by the time they start school. The program also provides gently used books for all kids visiting the clinics.
"Children who receive these books are more likely to have books in the home, more likely to be read to on a regular basis and more likely to be ready to enter school," said Ellie Erickson, M.D., a pediatrician and co-director for Duke Children's Reach Out and Read. "The program empowers families to participate in their children's lives in ways that sometimes their home life isn't set up for."
Duke's program has provided more than 6,000 new books annually to pediatric patients, 57 percent of whom are uninsured or on Medicaid. With new support from Durham County and community donors, the program will be able to provide more than 15,000 books to the children it serves.