ROR-KC is an integral part of my work day as a community pediatrician interacting with underserved and uninsured/underinsured children and their families. I see children from a diverse background, across multiple cultures, language barriers, economic levels and immigration status.
For this age group (birth-age 5) seeing their parents, caregivers, physicians behind masks covering up their normal facial expressions and learning again how to respond in a new way was another learning curve and I am sure anxiety provoking. Specifically, infants and toddlers who need visual cues for many things and reciprocate with fascial gesturers, eye tracking and fixation in response to the surrounding audio and visual stimuli. ROR-KC has brought to light a completely new meaning and implementation this past year with all the uncertainty during the COVID-19 lockdown. When everything shut down for an unknown timeframe parents had a heightened anxiety. Also, regarding health care for infants and younger children who were at an additional risk of missing timely well-child visits, immunizations and a pediatrician’s ability to track their neurodevelopmental progress. All this is imperative and solely dependent on in person clinical evaluation.
It was personally amazing to note that one thing did not change. Observing the behaviors and responses of infants and toddlers on receiving books on their routine well child checks at the outset of their clinical evaluation, now by a masked pediatrician still evoked the same curiosity about colorful pictures, catching images and imaginative stories. I was so delighted when I heard almost similar narration repetitively by more than dozen parents and families that since COVID-19 lockdown they were able to stay home and read or even re-read ROR-KC books given on all previous appointments as well as given to siblings. They were even more excited and motivated to come to their well child check as soon as safety measures with pandemic allowed us to see them in-person.
On January 20th, support Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s Virtual For the Love of Books Breakfast with a For the Love of Books Breakfast Bag! Proceeds go directly back into our mission of giving young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.
Each Breakfast Bag will include: Custom ROR-KC tote bag, (1) $100 Toner Jewelers Gift Card, (1) $25 Caffetteria/The Mixx Gift Card, For the Love of Books Brew by The Roasterie, ROR-KC Hand Sanitizer, Brand new children’s book by author Sandra Magsamen, Nothing Bundt Cakes BOGO. Not pictured due to freshness of products: (1) 3 oz. Honey Jar from Messner Bee Farm, (1) Cup Cookie token from McLain’s, (1) ROR-KC Customized Cookie from Midwest Cookie Co. and Orange Juice donated by Hy-Vee.
Limited quantity of 50 at $75 each ($125 value) with safe delivery to your doorstep on February 9th. KC metro only.
It’s a new year and it’s hard
to believe that so much time has passed since our lives have been upended with
COVID-19 restrictions. One constant throughout the uncertainty is ROR-KC and
its continued ability to touch the lives of children and families in the
clinics we serve.
Pediatric practices are up and running, mostly at pre-pandemic levels, while getting kids caught up on their well-child visits, vaccinations, the gifts of books and literacy advice. Some pediatric providers are taking advantage of technology for telehealth visits to follow up on problems that the child was previously seen for like bellyaches, headaches, or concerns about behavior – the type of visit where conversation is the most important element! In-person visits continue to be popular for those birth to 5-year-old well child visits, one cannot give vaccines or books over a computer screen!
My colleague, Dr. Heather VonBevern told me this recent, heartwarming story to welcome the new year: “A sweet little 2 and a half year-old girl was in for her 30 month well-child visit. She is the third of four girls in her family and when I handed her the book “Goodnight Moon”, which they already have at home, she wanted to keep it because she wants her own copy of the book. While I examined her baby sister, she told me all about the book and made up stories about all the toys and dolls. She wasn’t reading or reciting the words, but was making it up as she went. It was absolutely the sweetest thing! I love watching kids grow up with books from ROR-KC.” said Dr. VonBevern.
Dr. VonBevern, like all of our doctors, understands that this gift of an ROR-KC book is more than just a book. It is a gift that fosters relationships between children and parents, and between children, families and their healthcare providers. There is nothing better than snuggling up with a book or helping a child to develop a love for books, which later translates into a lifetime love of reading.
We at Reach Out and Read KC are so thankful for the donors that make it all happen!