Literacy Development Programs in Primary Care SIG
For our 17th annual meeting, the SIG for Literacy Development Programs in Primary Care had an excellent turnout, with about 45 participants. Our keynote address was by Martha Farah, Annenberg Professor of Natural Science and Director of the Center for Neuroscience and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Farah is widely recognized as a leader in cognitive neuroscience. She spoke on "Poverty, Parenting, and Brain Development," detailing the effects of disadvantage on language, memory and executive functions and connecting psychological research with animal models and human brain imaging. Although some parts of this story are NOW coming into focus, questions and complexities remain in the relationships between nurturing, language and specific brain structures. We still have a lot to learn! Tom DeWitt followed with a brief presentation of new work in literacy and neurodevelopment being done in Cincinnati.
Next on our agenda, we heard reports from the winners of the APA Young Investigator Awards for Literacy Promotion, including updates from 2011 winner Meghan Treitz (dialogic reading training); 2012 winner Teri DeLucca (multi-site assessment of school-readiness); and finally this year's winner, Adriana Weisleder, whose project is titled "Identifying Best Practices for Reach Out and Read Using Innovative Technologies to Investigate the Home Literacy Environment During the First Year of Life."
Next, we had a panel discussion on resident training in literacy promotion, with presentations by Cathy Wiley (University of Connecticut), Ellen Stevenson (Oregon Health and Science University) and Dipesh Navsaria (University of Wisconsin). There were too many innovations to catalog here, but some highlights included residents taking on leadership roles in literacy promotion training, incorporation of resident training in literacy PROMOTION with advocacy and community pediatrics, creative use of a resident survey and new curriculum ideas. As a result of the discussion, we resolved to establish a national clearinghouse for curriculum ideas and materials, to be housed, we hope, on the Literacy SIG wiki and also at www.reachoutandread.org.
Looking ahead, we plan to follow up on the initiatives described above, and to strengthen collaborations with other SIGs such as Primary Care, Serving the Underserved, and Health Literacy. The packed agenda for this year's meeting, and the packed room, signify that literacy promotion in primary care will remain a topic of active interest, innovation and research for years to come.
Current SIG Co-Chairs:
Perri Klass, MD
20 Cooper Square
New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 998-7992
Robert Needlman, MD
2500 MetroHealth Drive
Cleveland, OH 44109
Phone: (216) 77-4288