‘Reach Out and Read’ celebrates 20 years of literacy education

‘Reach Out and Read’ celebrates 20 years of literacy education
Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins reads aloud to pediatric patients to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Reach Out and Read. (Source: Christian Piekos)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Dozens of people gathered Tuesday morning at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport to celebrate a very special organization.

The North Louisiana affiliate of Reach Out & Read celebrated 20 years of spreading the joy of reading, by hosting Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins as a celebrity reader.

“It is encouraging our young people before they even start school to read books and be interested in books,” Perkins said. “It addresses that word gap that exists.”

The mayor read Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

The regional Reach Out & Read program has served more than 100,000 children since its launch in 1999.

Medical providers share more than 10,000 books annually with children across a number of clinics in Northwest Louisiana.

Doctors and nurses also speak with parents about the importance of reading aloud, starting at an early age.

“I think the best part about reading to youngsters is seeing their eyes light up throughout the book at their favorite parts,” Perkins said. “This program has channeled energy into reading.”

Among Reach Out & Read participants in Shreveport-Bossier City are:

  • Willis-Knighton Tots to Teens Pediatric Clinic, 845 Olive St. in Shreveport,
  • Pediatric Residents Continuity Clinic at Ochsner LSU Health, 1501 Kings Highway in Shreveport,
  • Med/Peds Resident Continuity Clinic/Department of Pediatrics at LSUHSC, 1501 Kings Highway,
  • Family Medicine Kid-Med Clinic at LSUHSC pediatrics department, 1501 Kings Highway, and,
  • David Raines Community Health Center/Pediatric Clinic, 1514 Doctors Drive in Bossier City

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