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East Tennessee State University

About Us

Read 'N Play Development
Play More
Play Together
Play Safely
Fuel to Play


Read 'N Play Development:

ReadNPlay for a Bright Future first came to be because of the initiative and creativity of two pediatric residents at ETSU. Recognizing a need in our community, Dr. Jessica Albright saw an opportunity from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to apply for funding to promote healthy active living among families with young children. Her colleague Dr. Eun Kyung Song suggested creating a baby book to give to families with young children to bring to their checkups at the pediatrician's office. The baby book would contain age-appropriate tips for keeping baby healthy and advice on how to be active as a family as well as space to record special memories and milestones. Ideas from other ETSU Pediatrics residents and faculty, representatives from the Tennessee AAP Chapter (TNAAP), and several community partners in the region helped to shape the final grant proposal submitted in October 2011. In January 2012, it was announced that ETSU and TNAAP were selected from a field of 17 applications to receive one of six Healthy Active Living grants awarded across the county (funding provided by the AAP with support from MetLife Foundation). It is our vision that the ReadNPlay initiatives developed with this 18-month grant will be the start of an on-going collaborative effort to encourage families in the region to Play More, Play Together, Play Safely, and Fuel to Play! The project is continuing now with support from the Tennessee Department of Health's Project Diabetes, and the current scope of ReadNPlay is summarized in our logic model.

ReadNPlay Logic Model (11-28-2013; pdf format)

ReadNPlay is currently funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee. Fun, educational tools that we have developed include My Baby Book, Healthy Active Living Tips booklet (for use to improve healthcare provider - parent communication about healthy behaviors during the first two years of life); a set of five posters based on our Play themes; and A Rainy Day Adventure (a new children's book for preschoolers featuring our ReadNPlay My Baby Book characters). All materials are being made available in Spanish. During 2015, My Baby Book will also be available as a free mobile application. For information about upcoming community events, please view our calendar or follow us on social media. Feel free to Contact Us if you are interested in being a partner.



Project partners include representatives of the Appalachian Association for the Education of Young Children (AAEYC), Niswonger Children's Hospital, the TN Department of Health Gold Sneaker Initiative, the Johnson City Public Library, BABE Breastfeeding Coalition of Northeast TN, Reach Out and Read, the ETSU Department of Psychology, and Clemmer College of Education ... and this list is growing! Please contact us if your organization is interested in being a partner.



Play More:

Shut off the screens! Did you know that the average U.S. child spends three of the first 18 years of her life watching television? Here are some tips to try to help your family reduce/manage their "screen time" (i.e. time spent watching TV & videos, playing video games, using a computer or mobile device for non-work/school purposes): 


Play Together:

Be active as a family. Parents, caregivers, and older siblings can model healthy behaviors and help to create activity-promoting home environments. Here are some tips to get you started: 


Play Safely:

Nearly one-third of deaths in children 1-14 years of ages are due to unintentional injuries. The majority of these deaths are the result of motor vehicle crashes. Here are some tips for keeping your family safe while you play: 


Fuel to Play:

Eat healthy. Breastfeeding, eating more fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, and juice drinks can make young children healthier and prevent cavities and future obesity and diabetes. Here are some tips for fueling to play in a healthy way: 



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