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August 1991

Clinic-Based Intervention to Promote Literacy: A Pilot Study

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Boston (Mass) City Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(8):881-884. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160080059021

•Educational research has shown that children become literate more easily if their parents read to them. A clinic-based program was designed to encourage early book use among parents of children at risk. It included (1 ) waiting room readers, (2) guidance about literacy development, and (3) provision of children's books at each visit. Seventy-nine parents of children aged 6 to 60 months were interviewed. Parents who had previously received a book were more likely to report looking at books with their children or that looking at books was a favorite activity (adjusted odds ratio, 4.05). This association was strongest among parents receiving Aid to Families With Dependent Children (odds ratio, 7.8). This preliminary study suggests that pediatricians can play a role in enriching children's early literacy environments, especially for children at high risk of school failure.

(AJDC. 1991;145:881-884)