Changing the World, One Book at a Time

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Meredith Nichole Waldrop, MSN
Pediatrics, David Raines Community Health Center, Bossier City, LA, USA
Billie E. Bitowski, MSN
Geriatric Associates, Shreveport, LA, USA
Jaime E. Panton, DNP
School of Nursing, Northwestern State University, Shreveport, LA, USA

Background: Early childhood interventions are used as a means of maximizing a young child’s growth and development. With that being said, one of the most vital means of early childhood intervention is reading. The development of language and literacy occurs in a step wise fashion as a child learns oral language, reads, and then learns to write. A child’s early literacy environment plays a critical role in the emergence of knowledge. Their early experience with books and reading contributes to their later success or failure in learning to read. Furthermore, parents in families who are involved in clinic-based literacy promotion projects are more likely to read regularly to their children, but interventional programs such as Reach Out and Reach are associated with great cost.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to inform parents of young children that reading to a child daily positively influences the development of language skills and intellectual competence, improves parent-child relationships, and is associated with a reduction in disruptive behavior. Parents will learn that reading and language development better prepare children for kindergarten; they will recognize letters and patterns more easily, and have less trouble learning to read. The project is facilitated through the STTI Maternal-Child Health Leadership Academy (MCHNLA) and sponsored by Johnson and Johnson.

Methods: For every child ages 5 and under seen in clinic a parent or guardian is asked a series of 5 questions related to reading practices in the home. Following survey completion, the pediatric provider facilitates an educational intervention; approximately 5 minutes are spent explaining the correlation between reading with young children, language development, and school readiness. Following the discussion, handouts are provided. Handouts include statistical findings as well as talking, reading, and singing tips for families. Handouts are made available in English or Spanish. While in the office, a parent completes a Dolly Parton Imagination Library application, and the provider submits the application. Directions to the nearest library, a library card application, and book marks are provided. 1 month later the parent or guardian is called by the pediatric provider, and he or she is asked to complete the 5 question survey once again. Outcomes are measured by comparing responses from the first and second survey. Is the parent reading to the child? How long is the parent reading to the child, and does the child enjoy time spent reading with the parent? The project’s success is measured by an increase in the number of parents reading to their children, an increase in the amount of time spent reading to their children, and an increase in their children’s perceived joy when reading with a parent. Confidentiality is maintained by use of an excel spreadsheet that is password protected on a work issued laptop. No patient names, or birthdays are included on the spreadsheet. All aspects of the health insurance portability and accountability act are upheld as only aggregate data is reported in the project. Upon completion of this quality improvement project, the pediatric department of David Raines Community Health Center Bossier will apply for grant funding for a Reach out and Read program.

Results are still pending, as are final conclusions.