University Medical Center Reach Out and Read
With your generosity, and as part of our partnership with Reach Out and Read Alabama, the College of Community Health Sciences is seeking to increase the availability of books to our younger patients at University Medical Center and their families. At University Medical Center, operated by CCHS, our goal is to give new developmentally appropriate books to kids at wellness check-ups between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old, with a special focus on underserved children. We are asking for your support to help kick-start this initiative, which can truly influence a child’s life through reading.
Help us meet our goal of $5,000 to start building our book collection. For every dollar donated to our designated fund, the Capstone Health Services Foundation has generously offered to provide a 2:1 match for every dollar pledged. If we reach our goal of $5,000 for our passion project, Capstone Health Services Foundation will donate $10,000!
Any amount helps as a $100 tax-deductible donation will allow us to purchase 50 new age-appropriate books; a $50 donation will purchase 25 books and so on. Our three UMC locations (Tuscaloosa, Northport and Demopolis) cared for nearly 10,000 children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years in 2019, and we expect that number to grow.
Our mission is to educate all of our families and our community in the fundamentals of early brain development and to demonstrate the power of reading to young children. Our long-term goal is to help establish literacy promotion at all ages.
A quarter of children in Alabama live in poverty. On average, two thirds of low-income families do not own books for their children. Of the kids cared for at UMC locations, more than two-thirds, or 67%, fall below the federal poverty line. Research has shown that without access to books in their homes, children are less prepared for school and score lower on letter recognition, counting and writing when compared to their peers who have access to books early in life. In addition, patients with lower literacy skills face challenges following their doctor’s advice and are less likely to have the knowledge needed to make decisions that are positive for their health. Providing opportunities for early reading is also a step toward a healthier life.