Dr. Lisa Chamberlain, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford and practicing pediatrician at the Ravenswood Family Health Center, began referring families soon after she learned about 10BH.
“I had one particular patient that I was really worried about. I recommended 10 Books A Home because I had seen a flier in our offices,” said Dr. Chamberlain of the first family she recommended to 10BH. “About a month later, the family came back and just raved about it. The main reason [I continue referring families] is that they appreciate it and I’ve seen the impact. I tell all my colleagues about it and I make sure we have fliers in the office all the time.”
Dr. Chamberlain’s championing of 10BH in the clinic has helped 10BH better reach the families who are most in need. Today, about 12% of 10BH Learners are referred through the Ravenswood Family Health Center.
10BH believes early childhood literacy and engagement in learning is essential to the health of the community. In a growing trend, pediatricians agree, adding that early childhood education is just as important for the health of the child. Pediatricians now recognize the first five years of a child’s life as an incredibly important time for cognitive, social, and emotional development.
“There’s been a lot of talk about early childhood development,” said Dr. Chamberlain. “We’re recognizing a lot of more the importance of the zero to five year range - the first thousand days, as people say. It used to be that people thought babies weren’t doing much. Now that we understand better what’s going on, how do we stimulate that, how do we optimize it? We talk about early childhood literacy as a way to promote that growth.”
In July 2014, The American Academy of Pediatrics backed up the 10BH mission by publishing a monumental policy linking health to early childhood education. The policy, which reached over 62,000 pediatricians nationwide, recommends that parents read aloud with their children from birth at least until they enter grade school.
“Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime,” states the American Academy of Pediatrics’ report.
For years, pediatricians like Dr. Chamberlain handed out children’s books and prescriptions for family reading time during regular check-ups, but now 10BH offers a proven way for parents to apply their doctor’s recommendations.
“I’m proud of my field for doing this,” said Dr. Chamberlain. “And that’s why I’m so excited about 10 Books A Home. I can prescribe reading but then 10 Books A Home comes in and reinforces that. So we’re great partners that way…[10BH can] come in and continue to build on that in a wonderful way. You extend my reach, and I’m very appreciative of that.”
For Blanca, the mother of a Learner who was referred to 10BH by Dr. Chamberlain, the 10BH program made learning come alive in her home. She signed up for 10BH to help her son, Angel, develop better behavior and attitudes toward learning before starting school. Over the months, Blanca has noticed “quite a difference” in Angel.
“Now he likes to read books, and he likes to always be learning new things, such as the alphabet, numbers, and many many things,” said Blanca.
Blanca’s favorite moments during lessons are the times when she, Angel, and their Role Model are all doing an activity together. She loves that she gets the opportunity to be involved. This is something Dr. Chamberlain has seen as well.
“You guys empower the parents. When you see the parents encouraging their child, there’s something transformative about that,” she says of the 10BH families she has observed during regular check-ups.