Reading is doctor recommended with the new program Reach out and Read. In partnership with the Arkansas Area Health Education Center in El Dorado—also known as AHEC - each time a child - aged 6 months to 5 years - goes in for a check up, they go home with a new book. Kathy DeLone with Reach Out and Read said, “The important thing is for a child to hear at an early age those frenetic sounds which develop which is a key component to see if a child is ready for school.” DeLone says the goal is for every child to have a home library of at least 10 books before they start school. Tuesday Arkansas Congressman Mike Ross read to kids at AHEC. Ross said, “You think, why would you have books in a healthcare setting? It’s because books are a part of a healthy child’s life.” During the check up doctors give each child an age appropriate book, and then they will encourage the parent to go home and read aloud to the child. “These young people who participate in the program will look forward to it because they get a book that becomes theirs that they can take home, parents can read to them and as a result they will be better prepared for school.” The program is funded partially by federal money. Places like the El Dorado based SHARE foundation donated the first round of books to AHEC. AHEC is always looking for more book donations—if you are interested in donating books or holding a book drive you can contact Reach Out and Read at 501-226-9444.