This summer several Sacramento-area hospital and health clinics, crisis nurseries and community-based organizations are receiving reading stations and children’s books to help make visits to the doctor’s office a little brighter and to encourage reading among kids.
UnitedHealthcare is donating 20 UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) reading stations, nearly 800 Oliver & Hope children’s books and 2,000 activity worksheets as part of a Sacramento summer reading initiative.
The announcement was made at Wellspring Women’s Center where UnitedHealthcare employees joined more than 50 children and families, community leaders and UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound for a reading circle.
Throughout the summer, UnitedHealthcare employees will lead reading circle events and deliver the reading stations to various community-based organization and health care facilities in the region. The reading stations provide children a colorful place 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.
Organizations receiving the reading stations and books include the Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nurseries, Next Move, the Hope Clinic, YMCA of Sacramento, and Clara’s House. UnitedHealthcare will donate 200 books to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento as part of the clubs’ summer reading program.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to provide reading stations and the Oliver & Hope series to health centers and physician offices in Sacramento 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.
“These reading stations are a wonderful addition to our Children’s Corner program fostering early learning opportunities and activities,” said Sister Judy Illig, IBVM, executive director for Wellspring Women’s Center, which received one reading station and 165 books. “We appreciate UnitedHealthcare, its children’s foundation, and employees for their generosity and commitment to helping us provide a safe and welcoming place for the women and children we serve.”
“Studies have shown that reading to children at a young age is critical to brain development preparing kids for future school success,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “I support UnitedHealthcare’s efforts, which just like Oliver and Hope, have compassion and courage to help our neediest children have access to medical services.”
The donations raise awareness of UHCCF 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.
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.