Employees Give Books for 12th Street Center, Reach Out and Read
May 17, 2013 | More than 500 children’s books donated by UAMS employees in a recent book drive helped create a new Kids Corner for children of patients being seen at the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center.
In the Kids Corner at the 12th Street Center are (from left) Kathy Vining DeLone and Candace Carr of Reach Out And Read Arkansas, Valerie Henning, Vivian Flowers and Lanita White, Pharm.D.
Kendrea Jones, Pharm.D., a College of Pharmacy faculty member and 12th Street Center volunteer, reads to her 3-year-old son Henry in the new Kids Corner at the 12th Street Center.
Additional books collected by the UAMS House of Delegates employee group will be used by the non-profit Reach Out And Read Arkansas organization that promotes early childhood literacy. The organization already works with some UAMS regional clinics using its model of giving books to children being seen in the clinic and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.
The welcoming Kids Corner at the UAMS-operated 12th Street Health and Wellness Center was created in a corner of the waiting room with bookshelves, carpet and small, soft beanbag chairs for children to sit on while reading.
“We’re very excited about the Kids Corner, which transformed our waiting area into a more pleasant, family friendly space,” said Lanita White, Pharm.D., director of the 12th Street Center. “We are grateful to the House of Delegates and UAMS employees for the books they donated and thrilled to connect with Reach Out And Read Arkansas.”
Kathy Vining DeLone, executive director of Reach Out And Read Arkansas, said that too many children were not school ready in the area of literacy upon reaching school age. Reach Out And Read created a model that works with physicians and health professionals to recognize early literacy milestones in young patients.
Upon identifying a child who may need some help, they can give them a book collected through Reach Out And Read while at the same time encouraging parents to read aloud to their child.
“We hope we can enhance the literacy development of a child by reaching them at an early age,” DeLone said. “We excited about teaming up with the House of Delegates for their book drive and to help the 12th Street Center.”
The organization now works with 33 clinics around the state with six more on a waiting list and in need of new or gently used books for young children.
“It’s not just books for children to read in the clinics but about books to be given to children to help build literacy and school readiness,” said Vivian Flowers, director of diversity recruitment in the UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs and a Reach Out And Read board member.
Kendrea Jones, Pharm.D., an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy and volunteer at the 12th Street Center, was among the first to try out the Kids Corner by reading to her 3-year old son Henry recently.
“Getting to see a child read is just a beautiful, cool thing and the House of Delegates really stepped up in our first book drive so that children who may not have a book may get one soon,” said Valerie Henning, president of the House of Delegates.
The inter-professional 12th Street Center, opened in January 2013, includes services by students and faculty across the UAMS colleges of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and the Graduate School. It offers health screenings and health education to residents in the community.