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Rochester Regional’s Reach out and Read program expands to four locations

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Racquel Stephen
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WXXI News
Dr. Larry Denk, RRH Pediatrician, displays some of the books supplied by the Reach Out & Read Program

Rochester Regional Health is partnering with Fidelis Care to expand its Reach Out and Read program for children 5 years old and younger. The program supplies pediatricians with books they can give to their patients during regularly scheduled well-child visits.

Dr. Larry Denk, a pediatrician for Rochester Regional, said reading to young children is important to help them reach developmental milestones, and initiate a healthy bond between parent and child. 

“When parents read aloud to children, they help accelerate the child’s brain development while building confidence, resilience, early literacy, and healthy bonds that can be felt over a lifetime,” Denk said. 

The books are available in multiple languages and represent a broad range of cultures to reflect the diversity among patients.

“Fidelis Care is excited for the opportunity to work with Rochester Regional Health to expand the Reach Out and Read Program by making culturally appropriate books accessible to families in our local community,” said Dr. Vincent Marchello, Fidelis Care’s chief medical officer.

A grant provided by Fidelis Care will help implement the program at Wilson Pediatrics. Other practices with the Reach Out and Read program are Genesee Pediatrics, Unity Pediatrics, and Rochester General Pediatric Associates.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.