Reading provides case for community connections

by Hennepin Healthcare

HCMC’s new Vice President of Ambulatory Administration, Scott Wordelman, welcomed guest reader Congressman Erik Paulsen to Brooklyn Park Clinic on Thursday, November 8. Before a tour of the clinic and a demonstration of how books are given to patients as part of the Reach Out and Read program, Congressman Paulsen read to an audience of preschoolers, including a group from Primrose School Champlin Park.

“Last year, we were invited to the groundbreaking ceremony for Primrose School, so it’s great that they could be here for this event,” explains Lynne Burke, HCMC’s Children’s Literacy Liaison and State Reach Out and Read Program Director. “At the ceremony — which was almost a year to the day– Primrose School owner Joe Piket presented a basketful of books to HCMC Brooklyn Park’s Reach Out and Read program — so today we’re pleased that we could return the kind gesture.”

After Congressman Paulsen read to the children, he and Burke gave each child a book and a mini literacy suitcase filled with make-your-own-book essentials: a blank book and stickers.

While the giving has come “full circle” says Burke, “we hope books and reading will continue to connect HCMC and Primrose Schools for years to come.”

About Brooklyn Park Clinic:
The Brooklyn Park Clinic offers convenient primary care and specialty services to residents of the northwest metro area. Offering care for all stages of life, including prenatal, pediatrics, and adults by physicians, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives. Brooklyn Park has nearly 2,000 Reach Out and Read visits annually, serving more than 1,000 unique patients between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. 100 percent of the Brooklyn Park Clinic providers have taken the online Reach Out and Read training.  This rate is uncommon.  In the entire state there are only 8 clinics with more than 5 providers that are 100 percent trained.

About Reach Out and Read:
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness by training health care providers to give new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud at regular pediatric checkups.  The program has one of the strongest records of research support of any primary care intervention. In Minnesota, Reach Out and Read serves more than 75,000 children at 123 clinics statewide; 7 of these clinics are in Congressman Paulsen’s district.  In the past year, the number of metro clinics using Reach Out and Read doubled.