Cookbook sales help fund reading program

Published 6:45 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Washington Pediatrics has a recipe for improving area children’s reading skills.

Through its Washington Pediatrics Foundation, the local pediatrics practice is selling cookbooks for $15 each to raise funds for the local Reach Out and Read program. The local program is affiliated with the state and national Reach Out and Read programs.

“It is to promote early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness — to help the children be more ready to enter kindergarten, in hopes that by third grade to decrease the number of children who are far behind because they have little to no literacy skills,” said Kathie McDonald with Washington Pediatrics.

“What we do is give new, age-appropriate books to children from the ages of 6 months to 5 years old at their well-child checkups. So, they can wind up getting a total of nine new books by the time they’re five years old by getting well-child checkups,” McDonald said. “Each book (given) is based on their age, like at 6 months they would get a hard book that’s small, easy for them to handle, they can chew on. They progress right on up until they’re five.”

McDonald said the program also helps some parents improve their reading skills as they read the books to or with their children.

“The problem is getting the funding to buy these books because they are not cheap,” McDonald said.

That’s where the Washington Pediatrics Foundation comes in, she noted. The foundation conducts a variety of fundraising events to obtain the money to continue the program, she said.

The cookbook includes recipes provided by Washington Pediatrics doctors, staff, patients’ parents and others in the community, McDonald said.

Copies of the cookbook may be purchased at Washington Pediatrics, 1206 Brown St., Washington, during weekdays and Saturday mornings, at both Petals & Produce locations (in Washington and near Pinetown) and Uniforms PRN at Washington Square Mall.

Beginning Saturday, copies of the cookbook may be purchased from 8 a.m. to noon at Saturday Market at the west end of Stewart Parkway on the Washington waterfront. Copies of the cookbook will be sold at each Saturday Market this year.

Reach Out and Read is popular with parents and children, McDonald said.

“The kids love it. By the time they’re 2 or 3, they’re coming in (and saying) ‘Book.’ By the time they’re 3, 4 and 5, they’re like ‘Am I getting a book today?’ At 6, they’re like, ‘Why don’t I get a book anymore?’” McDonald said.

For more information about Reach Out and Reach or to donate money to the program, call Washington Pediatrics at 252-946-4134.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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