Delta Dental of Rhode Island (DDRI) has partnered with Reach Out and Read RI to encourage early literacy and healthy dental habits. A $10,000 grant from the Delta Dental of Rhode Island Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation will enable 2,500 oral health-themed children’s books to be delivered to various community health centers and pediatric offices across the state. Children between ages one and five having a well visit at these particular health centers in September will receive a copy of the classic book Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins.
"Our partnership with Reach Out and Read RI supports our mission to improve the oral health and well-being of all Rhode Islanders, including our state’s youngest citizens," said Joseph A. Nagle, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Rhode Island. "Not only do these books boost early literacy skills by encouraging families to read aloud to their kids, the story itself introduces the importance of oral health care in a fun way. We thank the physicians who are helping us spread the message that oral health is important to overall health."
Delta Dental of Rhode Island encourages early preventive care to help keep smiles healthy and happy, and kids are less likely to miss school due to tooth pain and dental diseases.
"Reach Out and Read RI is thrilled to partner with Delta Dental of RI on this joint early literacy/early oral health initiative," said Susanna Rhodes Beckwith, executive director of Reach Out and Read RI. "Pediatricians are trusted messengers for families of young children on a variety of issues, including oral health. Reach Out and Read RI is invested in treating the whole child and anything we can do to promote access to services is in the best interest of all Rhode Island families."
"Delta Dental of Rhode Island's partnership with Reach Out and Read RI is a great way to promote a lifetime of healthy habits for families," said Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. "This partnership promotes literacy, reading aloud, and the importance of early dental visits in one of the most trusted settings — the pediatrician's office. We're pleased to see Delta Dental of RI and Reach Out and Read RI team up to help ensure that Rhode Island children have healthy teeth and a lifelong love of reading."
Reach Out and Read RI is an evidence-based program that builds on the relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills beginning in infancy. The program incorporates early literacy into pediatric practice and helps parents learn how to ensure that their children are ready to learn when they start school.
To learn more about Reach Out and Read RI, visit www.rorri.org.