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Books Build Better Brains

ror photoSandusky, Mich. – McKenzie Health System is pleased to announce their participation in “Reach Out & Read,” a national program which leverages two extraordinary forces:  the power of parents and the influence of children’s doctors to help prepare Sanilac County’s youngest children to succeed in school.  Through this program, McKenzie family doctors give away books and encourage families to read together.

Photo: Dr. Matthew Gormley, Croswell Clinic, reads to some of his young patients.

The Reach Out and Read program begins at a child’s 6 month checkup and continues through age 5 by giving children new books to read with their families at each well child visit.  Over that 5 year period, every participating child receives 10 new books.

“Many children are not read to from birth,” reports Dr. Michael A. Merkler, McKenzie Family Healthcare in Sandusky, MI.  “90% of brain development occurs between birth and age 5.  When pediatricians promote reading readiness, language scores improve!  McKenzie Health System doctors have serviced approximately 1100 children from age 6 months to 5 years, and the number is growing.   From July 2014 to July 2015 alone, McKenzie did 471 well child visits for this age group.  Imagine the impact that Reach Out and Read can have on all those young minds!”

“What can you do to help your child achieve the best educational outcomes?” asks Dr. Merkler.  “Read to your child often and do regular well baby/child visits and checkups!   And, if you would like to help other children, please consider making a donation to the program; a $25 monthly gift will help support 15 children, and a gift of any amount will help support one child.”

“With your help,” Dr. Merkler continues, “we can make a difference in the lives of the children in Sanilac County who are at risk for poor educational outcomes by engaging parents as their child’s first teachers.”

For more information about how you can make a difference in a child’s life, call Nina Barnett, McKenzie Health System, at 810-648-6127.

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