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Docs prescribe reading to children

Although smiles are not the usual expression on children’s faces while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, Meridith Messinger, MD, pediatrician at Long Island College Hospital, is finding nothing but grins at LICH’s pediatric center.

Thanks to a generous donation of dozens of gently used books from the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, many more children will be able to enjoy some ROAR time while waiting for the doctor. ROAR (Reach Out and Read) is a national program promoting early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care.

ROAR trains doctors and nurses to advise parents and caregivers of young children about the importance of reading aloud, when the family comes in for a check-up. There are more than 1,400 ROAR program sites at clinics, hospitals and other primary care sites. It reaches more than 1.5 millions children annually.

“Doctors are a highly trusted source of guidance for parents of young children,” says Dominick Stanzione, interim president.

To donate books to the ROAR program at LICH, 339 Hicks Street, or to volunteer to read to the children, call 718-780-4810. For a physician referral, call 877-LICH-DOCS.

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