UnitedHealthcare donated books and activity worksheets to 100 Las Vegas-area schools today to encourage early literacy and spur students to continue reading over the holiday break.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman joined community leaders, UnitedHealthcare employees and educators for a reading circle as new books were presented to J.T. McWilliams Elementary School.
“Encouraging children to read at a young age is the stepping stone for success not only in school, but throughout their entire lives,” said Mayor Goodman. “These books will boost the students’ desires to read.”
Southwest Medical Associates (SMA) health clinics also received reading stations, children’s books and activity worksheets to help make visits to the doctor’s office a more enjoyable experience for children and their parents. Each reading station includes a kid-sized table and chairs, and copies of the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation’s award-winning “Oliver & Hope” book series that delivers fun stories with engaging images, teaching subtle lessons about the power of friendship, resiliency and imagination. The worksheets, available in English and Spanish, include coloring pages and mazes, and provide children with fun educational activities.
“We want to make a trip to the doctor’s office a pleasant experience for families,” said Dr. Robert McBeath, president and CEO of Southwest Medical Associates. “With new reading stations, books and activity worksheets, the waiting room is now a place to inspire early reading and learning among children.”
According to the Children’s Reading Foundation, children become more proficient readers, and develop stronger minds and relationships when their parents read with them 20 minutes a day from birth through elementary school.
“In addition to proper brain development and preparing kids for success in school, reading is a fun, imaginative activity for children,” said Pat Skorkowsky, superintendent, Clark County School District. “This initiative provides excellent reading opportunities for children during school, in afterschool programs and outside of school.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to donate these books and reading stations to help Las Vegas children succeed,” said Don Giancursio, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Nevada. “Not only will this help with their future success, but it helps enrich their lives now and promotes healthy habits.”
The UHCCF books help raise money to support medical grants for children. Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded more than 10,000 grants valued at over $29 million to children and their families across the United States. Last year, UHCCF awarded medical grants worth an estimated $5.4 million to more than 2,000 children across the country. UHCCF’s funding is provided by contributions from individuals, corporations and UnitedHealth Group employees. UHCCF has created the award-winning Oliver & Hope series to raise funds for the foundation.
All three books of the “Oliver & Hope” series are available through uhccf.org/shop for $16.95 each. Proceeds from the books and plush toys from the series help fund the UHCCF grant program. More information about the “Oliver & Hope” books, including free audio recordings of the books as well as fun activities and downloads, can be found at Oliver & Hope’s Clubhouse at UHCCF.org.