In celebration of Teen Read Week, Children’s Hospital Central California welcomed Valley high school students and other volunteers to read to patients during its quarterly Literacy Fair.
Teens from Liberty High School in Madera along with Target and University of California – Fresno Center employees were among those who read and gave out books to patients in various locations throughout the hospital. Each child also received a sticker and a bookmark.
“I really like it because you get to see the reactions of the kids,” said Liberty Senior Benjamin West. “It makes their day.”
Teen Read Week is the national literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association. Children’s joined thousands of libraries, schools and bookstores across the country encouraging teens to read.
Reading difficulties contribute to school failure, increased absenteeism, school dropouts and juvenile delinquency. Studies have shown that the easiest way to increase literacy among pre-school and school age children is to simply read to them.
Children’s Hospital promotes and encourages children in Central California to become lifelong readers through its Literacy Program. In addition to quarterly literacy fairs, doctors and medical staff talk to families about the importance of reading and give books to patients during their appointments. The hospital also participates in national literacy efforts like Read Across America, Read for the Record and Children’s Book Week.
The Children’s Literacy Program is funded through a combination of local and federal grants, including those from Reach Out and Read, Reading Is Fundamental, Bank of America, Target, and The Bertha and John Garabedian Charitable Foundation.