Parkland Helping Kids Read and Raise School Performance - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Parkland Helping Kids Read and Raise School Performance

Hospital gives away free books and sees students excel



    Regular wellness checkups aren't just helping North Texas kids stay healthy, they are also helping them excel at reading. (Published Friday, Oct. 12, 2012)

    Regular wellness checkups aren’t just helping some North Texas kids stay healthy they are also helping them excel at reading.
    Parkland Health and Hospital System is teaming up with the national literacy campaign "Reach Out and Read" to help low income kids be more successful in school.

    Reading for 9-year-old Kevin Vega is opening up a whole new world as he reads and waits in the lobby of the pediatric wing of deHaro-Saldivar Health Center in Dallas

    "I can imagine stuff in the real world that you cannot do," said Vega.

    His primary language is Spanish and his second language is English and it's books he gets for free at the health center during his checkups that help him excel at both.

    The Reach Out and Read program encourages parents to read to their kids between 6 months and 5 years old and sometimes donations of more advanced books allow older kids here like Vega to continue the success they’ve started.

    "It helps you with your vocabulary," said Vega.

    He's a 4th grader who can now read at a 6th grade level in English and an 8th grade level in Spanish.

    While the program is helping him, it’s also helping his mom Adriana Vega.

    "Reading isn't only helpful to him it is helpful to me. I've been learning English too you know when I'm reading with him," said Vega.

    The program is also credited with helping Latino children who are at risk of performing poorly in school excel like Vega, all by simply giving away something so fundamental for free.