Tag Archives: rorkc


Share a Book Today: Clinic Spotlight: Sallie Page-Goertz MN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC at KUMC Pediatrics

SALLIE_CLINIC_Sallie Page-Goertz is an Advanced Registered Nurse at KUMC Pediatrics as well as Medical Director of Reach Out and Read Kansas City.


When ROR-KC was first formed in 1997, Sallie immediately embraced the program as a part of her pediatric care.

20 years later Sallie still treasures the moments she shares books and early literacy advice with her patients and families. She is an avid supporter of a child’s physical and cognitive well-being, and she understands the importance early reading can have on a child’s life.


What is your favorite Reach Out and Read Memory?


A young patient named Michelle reminded me that some children only have books of their own because of ROR-KC. Books are expensive and they are not always within a family’s budget. For Michelle, her family took ROR-KC’s reading advice to heart. They read to her often and her father even built a special bookshelf for her ROR-KC books. As she got older and she started to read on her own, those were the books she turned to first.  It’s families like these where I know we are making a positive impact.

Read more about Michelle’s story here.


How has your understanding of ROR-KC grown over time?

The biggest change is that we have much more information now about how babies and young children’s brains develop, and how economic disparities can have a serious impact on children’s language development as well. This new neurological data enforces how important ROR-KC’s read aloud mission is for young children.


What are some of your favorite books to share with patients and why?


Let’s Read is the book we share with new parents. I love opening it in front of babies and showing parents how their new child’s eyes light up and focus on the book. It’s a great way to open a conversation about reading early and often to their little ones.


For slightly older children, I enjoy books that rhyme, like Dr. Suess. At that age children are starting to talk themselves and they love listening to how words sound. It’s fun because rhyming books feel like a game to them.


ROR-KC also shares bilingual books as well. This is especially helpful when families might have a grandparent that would love to read with the child even though they aren’t comfortable reading or speaking English.


What’s your favorite piece of family reading advice (or encouragement) to share?


Changing how you encourage family members can be key to taking the pressure off reading aloud. Sharing a book with your baby sounds less daunting than reading a book with them. Also encouraging them to understand that the story doesn’t have to dictate the time you spend together. Feel free to open a book and make up a story, skip pages, ask questions. What color is this? How many animals are there? What do you think is going to happen next?


Most importantly, enjoy that time you are snuggled up together. Those unique conversations are helping your baby’s brain grow.


What’s your favorite personal reading memory as a child or with your own children?


I have always been an avid reader. When I was little, I was the child that would get caught reading with the light on in the middle of the night. Whether it’s my grandchildren or my patients I love watching a child’s eyes light up when I bring in a book because it means that someone is reading to them.


How are volunteer readers important to ROR-KC?


We need people to set an example. A book doesn’t have to be a way to read to children, but rather a way to read with them.  Showing parents and family members that story time is more of a way to have a conversation with your child. Watching a great volunteer reader can help take a load off for some parents who might find story time daunting.
Thank You, Sallie!

Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug

Educating Parents on Safe Sleeping Practices through Children’s Books

sleep baby

A new study from Dr. John Hutton (pediatrician and clinical researcher at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) and other researchers, found that children’s books with messaging about safe sleep practices are more effective in changing parents behaviors than traditional brochures.


Sleep- related infant deaths (categorized as children under 1-year-old who die unexpectedly) disproportionately affect lower income families. Researchers were interested to see if children’s picture books with safe sleep messaging would educate parents more than traditional methods, like brochures and pamphlets.


sleep baby safe and snug2


To test this, researchers provided families with the book, Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug, by Dr. John Hutton.   Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug is a story filled with safe sleeping practices for new babies.  It even includes a checklist of “Dos and Don’ts” on the back cover as a reference for parents.  It is also the book that RORKC provides at the one-month well-child visit.


For the study, researchers specifically targeted lower income families.  While they conducted their research in primarily English-speaking households, Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug, is also available in Spanish to families at RORKC’s partner clinics.


They found that while both the pamphlets and Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug were similarly effective in educating parents on safe sleep knowledge, parents who had the children’s book were less likely to share beds and more likely to use cribs exclusively.  The researchers attributed this to the idea that reading the book aloud provoked more dialogue and emotional engagement, meaning that they were more likely to follow the advice after they had shared the book with their child.


While the researchers caution that there should be more investigation into the best practices for educating parents on safe sleeping habits, they believe that providing children’s books, like Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug, may be a step in the right direction.

Read the full study.