• Family health care, 
including diagnosis 
and treatment of major 
and minor illness
    Family health care, including diagnosis and treatment of major and minor illness
  • Family health care, 
including diagnosis 
and treatment of major 
and minor illness
    Family health care, including diagnosis and treatment of major and minor illness

Sun Life asks for help Marching Kids into Literacy

February 25th, 2015

Sun Life asks for help Marching Kids into Literacy

CASA GRANDE – Did you know that 759 million adults, or 16 percent of the world’s population, have only basic or below basic literacy levels?

 

That’s why we at Sun Life Family Health Center are so dedicated to providing our young patients with books starting as young as six months up until the age of five, whenever they come in for a well-child visit. But we need your help!

 

In time for “March into Literacy Month,” Sun Life is asking the community throughout the month of March to help support our Reach Out and Read Program.

 

Reach Out and Read Arizona (under the American Academy of Pediatrics Arizona Chapter) is a program that supplies books to area doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals to give to their child patients. These books are in both English and Spanish. The Reach Out & Read Arizona program serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in rural or low-income communities.

 

But Reach Out and Read’s funding for Pinal County is very low. While they gladly do it, often times doctors have had to supplement with their own money to keep the program running in their own practices. We alone at Sun Life spend approximately $10,000 a year, handing out about 5,000 books to our young patients at our Center for Children and family practice offices.

 

Our reach could be so much larger, though.

 

Many children don’t ever see books in the home, nor are they exposed to reading, and that has long lasting negative effects on a child’s reading skills. Statistics provided by www.readfaster.com explain that over $2 billion a year is spent on students repeating a grade due to reading issues. Since 1983, over 10 million American teens reached their senior year unable to read even at a basic level. One-fifth of American high school graduates can't even read the words on their diplomas. In the same time period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. And approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth aged 16-21 are functionally illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.

 

But with your help, even just a $10 contribution can help Sun Life doctors and pediatricians provide five children with their first book.

 

Statistics show that even just 15 minutes a day of reading to a child or a child reading on his or her own can expose a child to over a million words within a year.

 

“And by establishing a library from a very young age, that child is completely comfortable with books by school age,” explains Sun Life Community Relations and Volunteer Program Coordinator Samantha Reinhard.

 

Simply by having resources available at home, including books, magazines, newspapers and the internet, have proven that by school age, a child’s test scores have proven to be elevated over their classmates who have fewer materials.

 

“For the children, I think owning their own brand new book helps foster a love of reading,” Dr. Maria Abad commented, Sun Life pediatrician at the Center for Children in Casa Grande.

 

“Reading with your children is not only crucial for a child’s development during their formative years, but continues to strengthen the bond between parent and child,” said Sun Life CEO Travis Robinette.

 

To help us at Sun Life continue to bring the love of reading and books to Pinal County children, visit our donation page, and click on the Donate to Us button.

 

Every dollar counts, and every word read makes a big difference!

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