(HARTFORD, Conn.) –Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center has received a $4,000 grant from Verizon Wireless and Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. The funds will support the hospital’s Reach Out and Read program.
Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy for children by making reading a standard part of pediatric primary care. Volunteers read to children in the waiting room when they visit the hospital’s clinics for routine appointments. Physicians and nurse practitioners give their patients new, age appropriate books during regular well-child visits and offer tips and guidance about the importance of parents reading with their children
“Verizon Wireless sees the value of investing in work force development. Jobs are being driven by ever-changing technology and Connecticut’s economic vitality depends
on high literacy rates,” said Bob Scott, president of Verizon Wireless’ New England region.
Research has demonstrated that Reach Out and Read, a national program, significantly increases how frequently parents read to their young children and improves early language development.
“Reach Out and Read allows us as health care providers to promote literacy as an important part of normal childhood development,” said Nancy Trout, M.D., a pediatrician in the Saint Francis Pediatric Primary Care Center. “Parents love having volunteers in the waiting room who will read to their children, and the older kids actually ask for new books during their well-child visits.”
Verizon Wireless is the nation’s leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest wireless voice and data network with 39 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, N.J., Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodaphone.
Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets and is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.