11th Street Health Center Hosts Reading and Resource Day for Children and Parents

A mother and child receive free children's books at 11th Street Loves to Read Day.

The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center of Drexel University (11th Street) hosted “11th Street Loves to Read Day” this morning, an event that included book readings, activities for children, a book giveaway, educational resources, insurance enrollment and health and wellness resources for parents and guardians.

“11th Street Loves to Read Day” is the product of a collaboration between the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation (TLLCCF) and the Family Practice and Counseling Network (FPCN), the latter of which serves in partnership with Drexel University to operate 11th Street as a comprehensive nurse-run health center serving low-income families. The TLLCCF approached health center staff with the idea to distribute hundreds of books donated by Better World Books to the patients and community surrounding 11th Street. TLLCCF board members also volunteered to read books aloud to children at the health center.

“We have done Centering/Growing Together Pregnancy events in the past and thought this would be a fun and engaging event, rather than simply handing the books out at visits,” said Ariel Adams, the center director from Family Practice and Counseling Network. While attending children sat for story time and participated in activities, parents and guardians had the opportunity to explore the health and wellness resources available to them and their families provided by members of the 11th Street staff and nursing students from Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Approximately 200 children and several neighborhood organizations were invited to “11th Street Loves to Read Day.”

“Studies have shown that reading to young children daily enhances their vocabulary and other important communication skills,” said Allan Miller, executive director of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents begin reading to their children at birth. The generous donation of books for young children by Better World Books will allow hundreds of low-income families in Philadelphia to read to their children every day. We are glad to help in making a positive difference to the families at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center of Drexel University.”