Scott & White—Round Rock volunteers not only tend to the everyday needs of patients who cross their information desk, they have also created a program to encourage literacy among the community’s children.
It’s called The Children’s BookWell and its purpose is to provide age appropriate books to the children who visit the hospital.
“We provide books to any department that has children,” said Pat McCown, chairperson of the program. “We also give a board book to every baby born in the hospital.”
Over 3,000 new, complimentary books have been given out to children visiting the hospital and specialty clinics in the Round Rock area over the past year, and the volunteers plan to expand the program even further.
“Right now, all newborns receive one book,” said Tom Cook, Volunteer Services. “We hope to be able to give three books at birth, another book every three months until they’re 18 months old and then each year, we will give a book to the child until they turn five.”
The program’s continuing goal for the New Year is to encourage children and parental support so that children develop a love for reading, Mr. Cook said.
In order to make their plans a reality, the program’s volunteers must raise the money to be able to order more books.
“We just received a grant from the Dell Foundation for $2000, and we’re hoping to apply for larger grants,” Mr. Cook said. “Eventually we will contact businesses in the area for donations and recognize them somehow for their contributions.”
But for now, the volunteers are making sure every child who visits Scott & White – Round Rock will have the opportunity to experience the joy of reading.
“We want to work with parents to encourage good reading habits for children,” Mr. Cook said.
For information on how to make a contribution to the program or get involved, contact Tom Cook at 512-509-0408 or mail to: Scott & White Healthcare – Round Rock, Children’s Literacy Program, 300 University Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78665.
About the author
Jessa McClure holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX, where she is currently an adviser for student publications. She has been a writer in the health care field since 2009.