Aspirus Pediatrics Team Encourages Reading with Little Ones

The pediatrics team at Aspirus Plover Hospital & Clinic is passionate about the benefits of reading to infants and children.


“The families we care for trust us to guide them on all aspects of their child’s health and development,” said Jolyne Check-Ostrowski APNP, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Aspirus Plover Clinic. “That’s why we incorporate Reach Out and Read into our clinical practice.”


Reach Out and Read is a nationwide network of clinicians that encourages reading to children to nurture literacy and parent/child bonding. Check-Ostrowski was instrumental in bringing the program to Aspirus Plover Hospital & Clinic 10 years ago, using grants and local community funding. Aspirus Health Foundation now provides the financial support.


“We provide books to children at every well visit, starting at age four months through five years,” said Check-Otrowski. “At every visit, we emphasize the importance of reading to their little ones, even before they can communicate.


Studies demonstrate that reading to children early on not only strengthens their cognitive development, communication skills, and later academic success, but it also establishes a lifelong love of reading.


“We show parents how to hold books to best engage their child, and how to interact with the story and pictures to help their child follow along,” said Check-Ostrowski. “We also share advice on how to talk about stories with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.”


Studies show that the Reach Out and Read model has a significant effect on parental behavior and attitudes toward reading aloud and that participating families read more frequently to their children. Interestingly, studies also show that families involved with the Reach Out and Read program demonstrate higher attendance rates for well child visits.


“It’s very rewarding to see parents leave inspired to cuddle up with their little one and a book,” said Check-Ostrowski.