Clinica Prepares for 200 Kids at Reach Out and Read Back-to-school Event

August 22, 2014 7:59 pm
Theme for this year's event, this book will be given away to all children who attend. Kids can select either Spanish or English, depending on their preference.

Theme for this year’s event, this book will be given away to all children who attend. Kids can select either Spanish or English, depending on their preference.

Clinica Santa Maria Hosts If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Party for Pediatric Patients, Ages 18 months-5 years

Getting back to school can be financially difficult for many families. To help ease this burden for its patients, the staff of Clinica Santa Maria Health Center, a community benefit ministry of Mercy Health, is hosting its third annual Reach Out and Read Back-to-School event. Scheduled for Thursday, August 28, from 6-8 p.m., this Reach Out and Read event focuses on Clinica’s patients aged 18 months to 5 years old. The staff expects to see more than 200 kids attend.

Clinica Santa Maria will be giving its pediatric patients backpacks and school supplies, including folders, notebooks, crayons, markers, pencils, glue sticks and healthy snacks, as well as a copy of the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, in either English or Spanish, depending on the child’s preference.

Interactive, hands-on games Clinica will be giving to attendees to encourage inter-child play.

Interactive, hands-on games Clinica will be giving to attendees to encourage inter-child play.

Some of the 150 backpacks that will be given to school-age children at Thursday's event.

Some of the 150 backpacks that will be given to school-age children at Thursday’s event.

 

“We selected this year’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, as it’s a staff favorite, teaching about critical thinking,” said JoAnn Gorby, site leader for Clinica Santa Maria. “We are prepared for 200 kids to attend our Reach Out and Read program event. Each year, we challenge ourselves to do more for our patients, and we are hoping to provide them with some back-to-school essentials and a little fun.”

Carolyn Minaya, (left) and Victoria Barton, (right) pose with four pairs of donated shoes. Behind them are 20 more pairs that Clinica staff can give to children who otherwise would be unable to attend school without shoes.

Carolyn Minaya, (left) and Victoria Barton, (right) pose with four pairs of donated shoes. Behind them are 20 more pairs that Clinica staff can give to children who otherwise would be unable to attend school without shoes.

With Clinica Santa Maria’s focus on community partnership, education and fun for its patients, the following community resource agencies have been invited to participate:

  • Grand Rapids Fire Department – Teaching about fire safety
  • Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – Providing hands-on enrichment activities
  • Cook Library Center – Signing children up for library cards and donating books
  • Baby Scholars – Registering families for parenting classes and for pre-school opportunities
  • Croc Center – Providing information on center membership
  • Bright Beginnings – Providing information on social, developmental and nutritional needs of families
Nancy Pagan from Clinica Santa Maria, displays the items that a 3-year-old would need to start pre-school.

Nancy Pagan from Clinica Santa Maria, displays the items that a 3-year-old would need to start pre-school.

Patients will also have the opportunity to participate in a raffle for extra items to help begin the school year. Arts and crafts activities will be provided during the event. And of course, in keeping with the theme, milk and cookies will be served.

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. Providers at Clinica Santa Maria have participated in Reach Out and Read since 2010. This designates the third annual Reach Out and Read Back-to-school event for its patients hosted by the staff of Clinica Santa Maria.

For people who would like to contribute to the efforts, please call the Saint Mary’s Foundation at 616.685.1892 or visit www.saintmarysfoundationGR.com.

If you would like to donate any kid-friendly items for the Reach Out and Read event next Thursday, here are some specific items they need:

  • Items to keep kids organized at school (Trapper Keepers, folders, etc.)
  • Lunch bags
  • Hygiene kits, shampoo, toothpaste, combs, brushes, etc.

The Saint Mary’s Foundation will collect items at its office, located at 307 Jefferson Ave., across from the Main Hospital.

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