Brad Burget, M.D., is a board certified pediatrician and internal medicine physician at INTEGRIS Family Care Central in Oklahoma City. He enjoys reading and hopes to share that joy with his smallest of patients through the Reach Out and Read program.
The nonprofit organization consists of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide, by integrating children’s books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud into well-child visits.
During regular pediatric checkups, Reach Out and Read pediatricians, family physicians and nurse practitioners give new, developmentally appropriate books to children, ages 6 months through 5 years. “I personally wished to implement this program in my practice because I have seen the value of what it means to share a book with a child in my own home,” says Burget, who is the father of a 3-year-old girl and 1-year-old little boy. “Reading at a young age is vitally important for the healthy development of language and reading skills, as well as giving the child the ability to transport themselves to places they have never been or may never go. It is my hope through the Reach Out and Read program that Oklahomans will have greater access to books at a young age, while instilling a love of reading that will last a lifetime, and in turn help improve our state’s literacy level and school performance.” During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests. These early foundational language skills help start children on a path of success when they enter school. Reach Out and Read partners with more than 5,200 program sites and distributes 6.5 million books per year. The program currently serves more than one-third of all children living in poverty in this country, and continues to grow each year with the vision that one day the Reach Out and Read model will be a part of every young child’s checkups. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Burget, call 405-945-4322.