January 25th, 2017

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Celebrates Five Years
of Supporting Early Literacy at WellOne in Pascoag and Foster

Pascoag, RI (January19, 2017) Health care providers at WellOne in Pascoag and Foster are sending families home from check-ups with free books and a very important prescription – “read aloud to your children.” Representatives from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) visited the health center in Pascoag to celebrate five years of funding the Reach Out and Read RI program at WellOne’s facilities in Pascoag and Foster.

“No one would argue that helping children acquire a love for reading by introducing them to books at an early age is a priceless gift,” says Peter Bancroft, President and CEO of WellOne. “The Reach Out and Read Program and generosity of BCBSRI are providing children this wonderful opportunity. WellOne is pleased to be a part of this initiative.”

WellOne sites in Pascoag and Foster are two of 69 sites statewide that participate in Reach Out and Read, a program that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Reach Out and Read’s medical providers advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and give free books to children aged 6 months to 5 years during checkups. The books are new, carefully chosen, and developmentally-appropriate. Through Reach Out and Read, each child starts kindergarten with a home library of up to 10 books and a parent who has been encouraged at every well-child visit to actively engage in their child’s literacy development through reading.

Reach Out and Read RI created the “adopt-a-site” program as a way to engage corporations in giving back to their communities. “RI businesses take pride in, and want to contribute to, the long term health and vitality of the communities where their constituents live and work,” said Susanna Beckwith, RORRI’S Executive Director. BCBSRI is in its fifth year of sponsoring the Reach Out and Read program at WellOne, covering the costs of all the books and operational expenses associate with running the Reach Out and Read program at this site.

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