UNTHSC student representatives for the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA) and their classmates hosted a book drive during Physician Assistants Week, held October 6-12, for a program called "Reach Out and Read" in the Department of Pediatrics. The state program encourages health care providers to give books to children who may not otherwise have reading opportunities.
UNT Health Science Center PA students collected more than 400 books, which will be distributed at well-child visits at UNT Health clinics and other Fort Worth-area clinics.
Reach Out and Read Texas' mission is to prepare the state's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with medical providers to "prescribe" books and encourage families to read together.
Doctors, nurse practitioners and other medical professionals are encouraged to incorporate Reach Out and Read into regular pediatric checkups by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally appropriate books to children. The program begins at the six-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities.
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