Congressman Dold Visits Lake County Health Department



Representative Dold Reads Aloud to Young Children at the Lake County Health Department’s North Chicago Health Center in Support of Reach Out and Read School Readiness Program

Representative Dold visited the  Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center’s North Chicago Community Health Center, not only to cheer them on, but to practice what doctors preach by reading to a group of young patients.  Pediatricians and nurses at the clinic are sending families home from checkups with free books and a very important prescription – “read aloud to your children.

The North Chicago Community Health Center participates in Reach Out and Read, a program that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children.

Through Reach Out and Read, each child starts kindergarten with a home library of up to 10 books and a parent who has heard at every health supervision visit about the importance of books and reading. The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities.

The program has gained broad bipartisan support in the United States Congress.

“We recognize that it is critical for parents to make connections with their children very early,” said Irene Pierce, the Health Department’s Executive Director. “This program provides parents with the materials, information and support they need to make books an important part of their children’s lives.”

“Reach Out and Read has made a real difference for families at the Lake County Health Department and throughout Illinois,” said Congressman Dold. “This may be one of the most important prescriptions families get – reading with kids gives them a boost in school, and it brings families together. Reading to children daily is a critical component of early childhood development and I am proud to support the important work of this organization.”

We thank Representative Dold for reading to the families at the clinic and recognizing the importance of reading aloud. 


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Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics