Friday, June 19, 2015

School may be out for summer but learning doesn't have the end!

With my oldest out of school now, it's going to be a challenge getting him to even look at a book, let alone read one throughout the summer. I'm sure I'm not the only parent that has a hard time getting their kids to think about school during the summer. And it's a known fact that kids that don't hit the books at all during the summer break have a hard time getting back into the swing of things come the new school year. But this new program from UnitedHealthcare is hoping to keep kids excited about reading everywhere they go this summer, including the doctor's office. In fact, UnitedHealthcare will be donating 40 reading stations and nearly 1,000 books as part of this summer reading initiative. And community leaders, UnitedHealthcare employees and mascot Dr. Health E. Hound will participate in reading events featuring the Oliver & Hope™ books series.

Photo courtesy of UnitedHealthcare
The kickoff to the initiative was yesterday at the Naval Medical Center San Diego where UnitedHealthcare employees joined community leaders, children and families, and UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound for a reading circle. UnitedHealthcare donated the first 10 reading stations to the YMCA located at the Naval Medical Center, which will coordinate the use of the reading stations and children’s books in patient waiting areas in the hospital. 

Throughout the summer, there will be more reading circle events with UnitedHealthcare employees and more reading stations will be delivered to various community-based organization and health care facilities in the region. These stations provide kids their own space to read or draw, making doctor’s visits more enjoyable. Each reading station will include a kid-sized table and chairs, and copies of the award-winning Oliver & Hope book series that delivers fun stories with engaging images that enable children to imagine how they might become a hero like the characters. The stories also teach subtle lessons about the power of friendship, resiliency and imagination. The worksheets, available in English and Spanish, include coloring pages and mazes, and give children more educational and fun activities. Any parent that's taken a child to the doctor will appreciate this!! 

Check out these kids reading to Dr. Health E. Hound from the event yesterday:

video

According to the press release, organizations receiving the reading stations and books include Family Health Centers of San Diego, San Ysidro Health Centers, Vista Community Clinics and North County Health Services. UnitedHealthcare will donate 500 books to Reach Out and Read San Diego, which prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors throughout San Diego to give out books and encourage families to read together. These books will enable participating pediatricians, family physicians and nurses to give every child a book to keep when they come for a well-check visit. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide these reading corners and the Oliver & Hope series to health centers and physician offices in San Diego as an important health and learning resource for children,” said Brandon Cuevas, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of California.

According to the Children’s Reading Foundation, parents who read with their children 20 minutes a day from birth through elementary school help them become more proficient readers, and build strong minds and strong relationships. And I have to say, as a parent of kids with speech delays, reading to your kids at a young age will help them develop appropriate speech patterns. “These reading stations are a wonderful addition to our waiting rooms and will provide children and their parents valuable learning opportunities while in our offices receiving care,” said Capt. Acosta, commanding officer of the Naval Medical Center San Diego, which received 10 reading stations and 30 books. “We appreciate the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and its employees for their generosity and commitment to our patients.” The donations raise awareness of the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation and its mission to provide medical grants to help children gain access to health-related services not covered, or not fully covered, by their parents’ commercial health insurance plan. 

Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded more than 9,000 grants valued at over $27 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 United States. 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 child medical 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.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

About UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides medical grants to help children gain access to health-related services not covered, or not fully covered, by their parents’ commercial health insurance plan. Families can receive up to $5,000 annually per child ($10,000 lifetime maximum per child), and do not need to have insurance through UnitedHealthcare to be eligible. UHCCF was founded in 1999. Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded more than 9,000 grants valued at over $27 million to children and their families across the United States. UHCCF’s funding is provided by contributions from individuals, corporations and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) employees. To apply for a grant, donate or learn more, please visit www.UHCCF.org.

(This is a sponsored post containing text provided by UnitedHealthcare. Thanks for reading!)

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