Healthy Readers

Why Health Matters

Poor health leads to higher rates of developmental delays and disabilities related to learning which causes decreased school readiness. Higher rates of asthma can affect school attendance. Poor nutrition affects learning although there are multiple summer food program sites in our community. These missed opportunities can contribute to summer learning loss. These health disparities - differences in health that favor children from more advantaged families - are reflected in lower levels of reading proficiency for children from low-income families.

Staying on Track

We know that learning begins at birth and that healthy development greatly impacts children's ability to learn. Children who are on track in their physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and verbal developement are more successful learners from their earliest years. They are also likely to become proficient readers.

Our Focus

The Healthy Readers Initiative of Black Hills Reads focuses on strategies to ensure that children from low-income families are in good health and developing on track in their development from birth through third grade.

How you can raise a healthy reader:

  • Visit your pediatrician on a regular basis to ensure your child's health and well-being.
  • Ask your child's pediatrician during your routine visits to determine if hearing tests are needed.
  • Immunizations are one of the best ways to protect infants, children and teens from harmful diseases.
  • Your baby should visit a dentist before their first birthday and yearly thereafter.

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