WEBSTER, MA – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) joined community leaders in Webster to highlight the breakfast program at Park Avenue Elementary School, the Reach Out and Read program at South County Pediatrics, and how they are helping local students and families.
Congressman McGovern joined Principal Carolyn Wallace for a tour of Park Avenue Elementary School and a discussion of the school’s breakfast program, aimed at helping to reduce hunger by ensuring that every student has access to a healthy breakfast.
“Every year, millions of American children are impacted by hunger. Thanks to great meal programs like the breakfast program at Park Avenue Elementary School, we are making progress in the push to reduce childhood hunger,” Congressman McGovern said. “By providing a healthy breakfast to those in need, we can help more students start the day strong and get the nutrients they need to succeed in school. I am grateful to Principal Wallace and everyone in Webster for their work to support this program.”
At South County Pediatrics, Congressman McGovern read to local children ages 5-years-old and younger as part of the Reach Out and Read program, aimed at helping America's youngest children succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.
“Reading to children at an early age is essential to giving them the strong start they need to succeed. All across the country, Reach Out and Read is helping to make that possible, inspiring children to develop a love of reading that will help them achieve their full potential,” Congressman McGovern said. “I am grateful to South County Pediatrics in Webster and partners throughout Massachusetts who are helping to prepare our students for a bright future with this important program.”
Congressman McGovern read “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" to the children and then gave books (provided by Reach Out and Read) to themto take home and keep. Joining McGovern and local students were Dr. Jennifer Bram, Reach Out and Read Medical Consultant at South County Pediatrics and Alison Corning-Clarke, Director, Reach Out and Read Massachusetts.
Background on Reach Out and Read
In the Massachusetts 2nd Congressional District, there are 53 clinical locations and 32,000 children participate annually.
Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read's evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups, by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children.
The program begins at the 6-month checkup and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income communities. Families served by the Reach Out and Read program read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies and stronger language skills, better prepared to achieve their potential.
Reach Out and Read's National Impact
Reach Out and Read Programs are located in nearly 5,000 hospitals, health centers, and pediatric clinics in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Reach Out and Read serves 4 million children and families annually.
- More than 6.5 million new, developmentally-appropriate books are given to children annually;
- More than 20,000 doctors and nurses currently participate in Reach Out and Read;
- Community volunteers dedicate more than 350,000 hours of service to Reach Out and Read annually.
- Reach Out and Read's State Impact
- 302 clinical locations
- 196,812 children participate annually
- 339,218 new books distributed annually