UnitedHealthcare is donating Sesame Street reading corners to 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) throughout North Carolina to encourage young children to read and learn more about healthy living.
Sesame Street reading corners provide children visiting their doctors’ offices with a colorful place filled with age-appropriate books that encourage reading, teach healthy-eating habits and help make the visits more enjoyable.
UnitedHealthcare employees are delivering and setting up the reading corners in 12 counties, helping assemble tables and chairs, decorate the spaces, provide the children’s books, and supply the doctor’s offices with important health and nutrition information.
Health Centers receiving the reading corners include Minnie Jones Family Health Center in Asheville; Rutherford Health Center in Spindale; Southside United Health and Wellness Center in Winston-Salem; Harvest Family Health Center in Elm City; Wilson Community Health Center in Wilson; Charlotte Community Health Center in Charlotte; Montgomery County Community Health Center in Star; Oberlin Outreach Center in Raleigh; Franklin Community Health Services in Louisburg; ARMS Circle Medical in Monroe; Kinston Community Health Center in Kinston; and Goshen Medical Center in Goldsboro.
“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to provide Sesame Street reading corners to health centers as an important learning resource for children in North Carolina,” said Anita Bachmann of UnitedHealthcare. “Reading to children at a young age is critical to developing literacy and lifelong learning skills.”
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.
“The Sesame Street reading corner is an asset to our pediatric practice. The reading corner encourages our young patients to explore books, and promotes reading and imaginative play. We hope that it will help motivate parents to read to their children daily. Our impoverished children need much support to be successful in school, and many of our families lack the resources to provide good books to their children,” said Tamara Withers-Thompson, RN, clinic manager of Charlotte Community Health Center. “We hope that the instillation of the Sesame Street reading corner will fuel the desire to learn and be successful not only at school but in life.”
The donations are part of UnitedHealthcare’s Healthy Habits for Life partnership with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, which offers tools and resources to help parents and caregivers gain a greater understanding of the relationship between healthy habits and children’s healthy growth. The program supports UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to helping people live healthier lives through education in fun, innovative ways and supports Sesame’s mission to help all kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder.
Since 2010, UnitedHealthcare has delivered more than 1,000 Sesame Street reading corners to health centers in 24 states, including North Carolina.
Federally Qualified Health Centers provide comprehensive health services, including dental, vision and mental health services, in a single location. For more than 45 years they have been ranked among the highest-quality and cost-effective care providers in the nation – a proven model that has delivered better access and cost-savings, and provided jobs and helped people live healthier lives. UnitedHealthcare helps support Health Centers through a broad network of dedicated health care specialists and hospitals.
According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, in 2013 North Carolina FQHCs served nearly 455,000 patients, or about 1 in 48 North Carolinians.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 1 million people in North Carolina with a care provider network of 143 hospitals and nearly 25,000 care providers statewide.
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 800,000 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 www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.