Big Bear Lake, CA, July 29, 2016 – Bear Valley Community Healthcare District is proud to announce that they have been the first agency in San Bernardino County awarded funding from First 5 San Bernardino to implement the Reach Out and Read Program. The program is a collaborative effort between two of the Healthcare District’s departments, The Mom & Dad Project and the Family Health Clinic.

Reach Out and Read is a national program that distributes books through pediatricians to connect reading as a vital practice for quality early childhood development. While in the waiting room, volunteer readers or parents themselves are provided books to read to their children, increasing the child’s interaction and exposure to words. Parents of children ages 5 and under will able to take prescribed books home to build their child’s library and early literacy capacity.

Under this funding, Bear Valley Community Healthcare District will use pediatric well child visits to distribute books as well write prescriptions for parents to read to their children. The Mom & Dad Project will further enhance these visits by providing a developmental screening, as well as work with parents and children to engage them in the important effects reading can have on a child under the age of 5. Through this funding the Healthcare District will be able to provide 1,500 books to children and their families in the fiscal year of 2016-2017.