Chesapeake Health Care Doctors are “Prescribing” Free Books to Children

Through the Reach Out and Read program, Chesapeake Health Care’s providers are giving brand new books to children at their checkups in order to promote early literacy.

Chesapeake Health Care’s pediatric care providers are incorporating a “Reach Out and Read” program into regular pediatric checkups, and advising parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children. During their well-visit checkup, each child from age 6 months to 5 years will be given free, developmentally-appropriate books.

“As pediatric providers, we are already guiding parents about their children’s nutrition, safety, and development issues, so this program is a natural extension of that,” said Dr. Stephen Cooper, who is the head of Pediatrics at Chesapeake Health Care. “We can encourage parents to read to their children as early and as often as possible, which is essential to their brain development and success in school.”

Pediatric providers at Chesapeake Health Care have completed special training in order to offer guidance to parents about the importance of reading with their children every day starting at the newborn visit.

“Reach out and Read” is a national nonprofit that partners with medical providers to give free books at doctor’s visits and promote school readiness, with a special emphasis on children from low-income communities. Through a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Health Care is providing these free books, and encouraging parents to read to their children in order to give them a foundation that is crucial for success.

Chesapeake Health Care anticipates expanding the program to its dental patients in the near future.


Chesapeake Health Care

Founded in 1994, Chesapeake Health Care is a multidisciplinary healthcare practice serving Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties in Maryland. Approximately 100 providers are on staff to provide healthcare to the region’s patients in Adult and Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urogynecology, Mental Health, Dental, and Pharmacy. Health care is extended to individuals who are uninsured, underinsured, and insured. A Sliding Fee Scale program is available to assist eligible patients with healthcare payments. For more information about Chesapeake Health Care visit

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