Cincinnati Children’s develops new programs to improve child literacy | Addresses early concerns, provides intervention

Jessica N. Abraham
4 min readAug 5, 2021
Image by Катерина Кучеренко from Pixabay

Funded by the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center, neonatologists, caring for babies in the NICU at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, conducted a study that would identify key risk factors, associated with reading difficulties some children face prior to elementary school. It is their claim that “literacy screening and interventions administered by a pediatrician can effectively help identify potential reading difficulties” and effectively improve early childhood development.

The study, conducted between 2018 and 2019, was recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

According to the study, “high-risk parents were five times more likely to read to their baby at home due to hospital intervention and that reading reduced any anxiety they felt during their child’s stay.”

The hospital has since developed a new framework to effectively identify those risks associated with exposure to variables, relating to shared experiences and interventions taken during infancy, economic and environmental factors within the home, and special case scenarios that would depict exceptions to the rule.

Newborn Enoch Lober of Tennessee is a NICU patient at Cincinnati Children’s. His parents are part of the NICU Bookworms program and enjoy reading to him.

Through this study, pediatricians would gain a better understanding of how these factors would directly influence a child’s brain, as it continues to be wired, and how early literacy programming would ultimately affect their ability to read, as they entered into Kindergarten.

Calling it an “Eco-bio-developmental” Model of Emergent Literacy, the Journal of JAMA Pediatrics, described it as a means of reinforcing the potential behind early literacy screening, prevention, and intervention during pediatric clinic visits during early childhood.

Pediatricians familiar with this model state that “This kind of model is advocated by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help better understand and improve important social determinants of health.”



Jessica N. Abraham

Jessica N. Abraham writes about Business, Technology and Career Development. | Twitter: @jessicanabraham