The Chautauqua Center Launches Book Program for Jamestown Pediatric Patients

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Matthew Fisher, RN, BSN, and Jennifer Janocha, PA, CLC, pose with books for patients.

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The Chautauqua Center

Clinicians at The Chautauqua Center (TCC) understand that reading is one of the most effective ways to develop language during early brain development and to gain the early literacy skills required for school readiness. Because not every child in our area has access to a variety of books at home, pediatric providers at TCC Jamestown are excited to be able to provide new books to patients. The program is made possible by a generous donation from Molina Healthcare.

TCC Dunkirk Pediatrics has been using the nationally recognized Reach Out and Read program for many years. Starting this month, TCC Jamestown has joined the effort with a similar program called Read to Me TCC. Children will receive a book at each well visit – which occur more frequently for younger patients. From age 0-5, patients will receive a total of ten books. After that, children will receive books on an annual basis. Books are available in English and Spanish.

TCC’s Sarah Gilbert unpacking the first delivery of books .

“I love using books during appointments,” explained Dr. Paul Robbins, TCC pediatrician. “They are a great tool to assess fine motor skills and developmental milestones. It also gives me the chance to role model reading aloud to parents, which is very helpful especially for new parents.”

The connection between reading and health care is not very well known, however the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends providing books to children as an essential aspect of well childcare. Recent research shows reading failure disproportionately affects children from socially and economically disadvantaged families and contributes to continuing the cycle of poverty.

“My patients are so thankful to receive a book from us,” said Jennifer Janocha, TCC physician assistant and certified lactation counselor. “We are helping to spark children’s interest in reading and to increase parents’ awareness of the importance of reading to their children.”

For more information about the program, or to enroll in services, contact Matthew Hanley, marketing coordinator at 716-484-4334 or visit tcchealth.org.