Peds NW Partners with Pierce County Library

For Gary Tart, M.D., and his colleagues at Pediatrics Northwest, literacy and intellectual development goes hand-in-hand with health and physical development.

That’s just one of the many reasons Pediatrics Northwest is celebrating its 10th year as a sponsor of the Pierce County Library Summer Reading program, while also adding support for story times this year.

“We see this (Summer Reading) as a very basic, important issue,” explained Dr. Tart. “With the growth of computers, phones, video games and electronics, competition for time is tough. Reading becomes a bigger challenge and it’s a big need.”

Pediatrics Northwest has long supported Reach Out and Read, a national program that gives free books to kids at well-child visits. So when Mary Ann Woodruff, M.D., a Pierce County Library foundation board director and partner of Dr. Tart’s approached the group to financially support Summer Reading, it was, Gary admits, a “no brainer for the whole group.”

“We talk to kids about school all the time, about how they’re doing in school,” added Dr. Tart. “I can see a big difference in kids who read. The academic success is glaringly different.”

As a pediatrician, Dr. Tart also emphasizes the importance of reading from the very beginning. “Kids begin to pick up the basics of learning and language at a very early age. We see their faces light up, even at six months, when they see pictures and people in books.”

When asked why other businesses and individuals should contribute to Summer Reading, Dr. Tart was quick to point out that “kids don’t have equal access to books. Giving kids a library card and giving them access to books is a real equalizer.”

Originally published in “BookEnds” by the Pierce County Library Foundation. Reproduced with permission.

Categories: Reach Out and Read
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