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'Prescription for Reading' offers free books for kids

Submitted photo The pediatric staff at Perham Health participates in the 'Prescription for Reading' program.

There's a program in the area that's getting free books into the hands of young children - and making reading part of their "Doctor's orders."

Prescription for Reading, an initiative of the Women's Leadership Council of United Way of Otter Tail County, provides books to five area clinics in Perham, New York Mills, Fergus Falls, Pelican Rapids and Battle Lake.

The mission of the local Women's Leadership Council is, "striving to improve the lives of all children in Otter Tail County."

To accomplish this, the council focuses on several early literacy initiatives - Prescription for Reading is one of them. This particular program is getting books into the hands of children from birth through age five during wellness check-ups with their local pediatricians.

The program places age-appropriate books and early literacy brochures in all Otter Tail County clinics that provide wellness check-ups for children.

During each wellness visit, starting at six months of age, children receive an age-appropriate book and a brochure guide with developmental stages and strategies to help families develop the language and literacy skills needed prior to entering kindergarten.

These books and resources are provided to give parents additional tools to use as their child continues to grow and learn.

The overall goal of the program is to support reading development for young children. By "following Doctor's orders," parents can enjoy reading and interacting with their children around favorite books and stories as part of this developmental process.

For more information about the Women's Leadership Council, email or call 218-736-5147.