NMRTU Everett improves pediatric literacy one read at a time


Families bringing their children to the David R. Ray Clinic for a pediatric clinic appointment are afforded the opportunity before and after their appointment to actively – visually and aurally – peruse a number of donated children’s books, including those from the Reach Out and Read program. The non-profit organization provides age-appropriate books to a national network, which includes military treatment facilities, to help encourage the importance – and fun – of reading at a young age.

There is a special designated literacy area in the clinic, aptly titled Dr. Lukezic’s Reading Corner, where patients are encouraged to read a book while waiting and even borrow to return on their next appointment.

“It helps our families and promotes literacy and resiliency,” stated Dr. Renate Lukezic, board certified pediatrician, noting that Navy families she provides care for really appreciate having access to a pediatrician.

“Pediatricians are specifically trained to take care of children from the newborn period through young adulthood. It is my opinion that we really need to empower the entire family to meet their health goals. I know there are multiple definitions of health but the one that speaks the most to me is, ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,’” added Lukezic.

That health also extends to literacy. Lukezic affirms that families she sees often have health goals that include quiet times, soothing times and increased family time.

“Reading books helps with all of these health goals. Families also wonder what they can do to help their children with developmental milestones and given that the Reach Out and Read books are specific for ages and milestones, it helps with this too,” explained Lukezic. “And not just social and verbal skills. Manipulating books helps with fine motor and gross motor skills at any age. And infants learn through tasting everything, so I do expect a six-month old baby to taste a book and learn from that too.”

Read the full article at DVIDS here.

(Image credit: DVIDS)