Published on March 29, 2022 at 2:45 p.m.
As part of St. Luke University Health Network’s initiative to strengthen literacy in Carbon County, it is adding a library book cart for children to the Veterans Center at its Lehighton campus. The basket will include popular children’s titles as well as a wide range of stories that talk about military service, deployments and more difficult topics such as post-traumatic stress.
“I hope veterans who come to the Veterans Center at the hospital will bring their children and grandchildren with them and allow them to select a book from the cart to read either at home or while they are assisted at the center,” said Christine M. LeClair, director of veterans affairs in Carbon County.
Fifteen books have been ordered for the library regarding PTSD, veterans, various military branches and other related topics, said Rosemarie Lister, MPH, SLUHN Network Senior Director, Community Health. The initiative is expected to be on the St. Luke’s Lehighton campus by summer.
“Not only will the books encourage a love of reading, but they will also educate children about the intricacies of military service and help them better understand their feelings,” LeClair said.
The Library Book Cart is one of many programs that SLUHN participates in that are designed to promote literacy in Carbon County. The need to promote literacy in the county was identified by St. Luke’s Community Health Needs Assessment.
Since the need was identified, thanks to a generous donation from the Carbon County Community Foundation, St. Luke’s Community Health has begun implementing the evidence-based Reach Out and Read program and Brush, Book, and Bed messaging . The ROR program has trained providers to educate families about the importance of literacy. Since the start of the ROR program, providers have engaged families in more than 1,600 child well visits at six SLUHN pediatric and primary care facilities: Lehighton Family Practice, Palmerton Pediatrics, Nesquehoning Family Practice, Nesquehoning Rural Health Center , Lansford Rural Health Center and Palmerton Primary Care.
During their wellness visits to these cabinets, children 5 and under can select an age-appropriate book to take away and read.
BBB educates families on the importance of a regular bedtime routine for children, which includes brushing teeth and reading a book.
“BBB promotes oral health as well as literacy,” Lister said.
In July 2021, the partnership with CCCF expanded to include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for all families in Carbon County so children 5 and under receive developmentally appropriate books to build their libraries. home. Each month, DPIL sends a book to the homes of registered children.
“Combined, these efforts provide evidence-based best practices for Carbon County families to have access to books and education about the importance of reading while integrating health education and resources. “, Lister said.
To further promote literacy in Carbon County, the county and participating practices participated in St. Luke’s initiative to celebrate Reading Day across America on March 2. St. Luke’s representatives, including administration, vendors and staff, recorded and read books to create a virtual showcase space; links were sent to Carbon County schools to incorporate into their lessons and story time. Priya Patel, MD, of Lehighton Family Practice, read “Clifford the Firehouse Dog.”
CCCF President Sharon Alexander said, “We are proud to fund these wonderful programs and improve the literacy skills of our children in Carbon County. St. Luke’s has been a great partner to work with, and we’re really excited to expand our efforts to include the library book cart at the Veterans Center.
The military books that have been ordered for the book cart at the Lehighton campus are: “Why is dad so mad?” “Why is mom so mad? “Love You From Near and Far”, “Hero Mom”, “Hero Dad”, “Veterans: Our Neighborhood Hero”, “Lil’ Air Force Pilot (Mini Military)”, “Lil’ Marine ( Mini Military)”, “Lil’ Navy Soldier (Mini Military)”, “Lil’ Army Soldier (Mini Military)”, “Otto’s Tales: Today is Veterans Day!” “My mom is a hero”, “My dad is a hero”, “My mom is a hero in uniform” and “My dad is a hero in uniform”.