Leaf Medical: Early Education


Leaf Medical, a primary care center in Dumbo is a contributor for health relatic topics. Dr. Stephanie Shaps, a pediatrician at Leaf Medical writes a post about early education.

Click more for Dr. Shaps’ article about reading to your little ones.

Last month the American Academy of Pediatrics, working together with the Clinton Foundation, Too Small to Fail, Scholastic, and Reach Out And Read, endorsed the importance of reading aloud to our little ones starting even as early as day one of life. According to the AAP policy statement, reading regularly starting in early infancy not only stimulates optimal brain development, but also strengthens the parent-child relationship at a critical time in child development. The recommendation also extends to us pediatricians, stating that we should be promoting early literacy beginning in infancy and continuing throughout the preschool years.

The initiative states that reading during infancy and early childhood is associated with higher language skills at school entry and increased interest in reading. However, more than 1 in 3 American children each year start kindergarten without the core language skills they need to learn to read. Sure, we face competition from the vast array of media options from TV to the iPad, as well as the reality that there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done, but even a few minutes a day reading aloud with our children can make a difference.

Parents should focus on the 5 Rs of early education:

  1. Reading together. Start in early infancy with small books filled with pictures. Point to and name the pictures and for young children, encourage them to finish the sentences for you.
  2. Rhyme, sing, and play with words when talking to your child. Have young children make up silly rhymes with you!
  3. Routines help children know what to expect. Be consistent with meal, play and sleep routines.
  4. Reward your child with praise for the big and small milestones they accomplish.
  5. Relationships that are nurturing and positive are the foundation of healthy child development and reading with your child will foster your important bond.

You can find the AAP news statement on aappublications.org.

And for more information and to help spread the word visit toosmall.org/news/commentaries/obama-clinton-mccain-and-frist-appeal-to-parents-to-closethewordgap.

Leaf Medical (leafcares.org)
18 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: 855-529-5323
Fax: 855-765-5323
email: info@leafmedical.org