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Stony Brook Primary Care Practice Provides The Prescription For Improving Early Childhood Literacy
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Southampton) reads, distributes books to children through Reach Out and Read of Greater New York program

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Southampton) reads “Curious George” to Serenity Wenger, age 2, daughter of Chris and Gerri Wenger of Mastic, and Lucas Carpenter, age 3, son of Denis and Melissa Carpenter of East Quoque, at Stony Brook Primary Care in East Moriches, NY, on Aug. 7 as part of “Reach Out and Read of Greater New York.” A coalition of 183 early literacy programs in hospitals and health centers across the region, Reach Out and Read serves 17,000 children at 14 sites across Long Island.

EAST MORICHES, N.Y., Aug. 10, 2012 – Ten children gathered to learn firsthand about the benefits of early childhood literacy on Tuesday, Aug. 7 when Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital hosted a “Reach Out and Read of Greater New York” event at its Stony Brook Primary Care clinic in East Moriches, featuring a special guest reading by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (I-Southampton).

Assemblyman Thiele selected “Curious George” for the reading, after which the 10 children each received a free copy of a book of their choosing to read at home. More than 600 children at the East Moriches practice participate in the program each year, receiving more than 1,200 books annually. The practice has been participating since 2003.

“We are pleased to partner with Reach Out and Read to offer this valuable service to our patients,” said Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital. “Sometimes parents cannot afford to buy books for their children, and the books provided through this program may be the only books they have at home.”

Reach Out and Read is a coalition of 183 early literacy programs in hospitals and health centers across the region. It includes 14 sites on Long Island, with a third of those located in physician practices of Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital, according to Karen Preuss, Development Manager for Reach Out and Read of Greater New York.

“The science about how children learn to read is unanimous,” Preuss said. “The single most important thing that parents can do to prepare their children to succeed in school is to read aloud to them when they are young.”
Fourteen published studies have demonstrated Reach Out and Read’s effectiveness in encouraging parents to read aloud more often and preparing children for school success. A non-profit organization, Reach Out and Read distributes books to more than 268,000 children annually throughout New York State, including 17,000 children on Long Island. Pediatricians provide children with free, new books at each check-up. Doctors also give parents literacy guidance and encourage them to read aloud with their children daily. Studies show that children with parents or caretakers who read aloud to them have stronger vocabularies and language skills and start school ready to learn to read.

For more information about Reach Out and Read, visit www.reachoutandreadnyc.org.

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About Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital:
Established in June 2010, Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 7,000 children and adolescents are admitted each year. Stony Brook Children’s operates 100 pediatric beds and has more than 100 full-time pediatric physicians and surgeons and over 200 voluntary pediatric faculty members in 30 different specialties. The hospital is the Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center for our area and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookchildrens.org.


© Stony Brook University 2012