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Governor Maura Healey Visits Lynn Community Health Center to Support Early Childhood Literacy Program

LYNN, MA –Governor Maura Healey visited Lynn Community Health Center on Friday to learn about the Reach Out and Read program, which aims to promote early childhood literacy and language development among pediatric patients during well child visits from birth to age five.

During her visit, Governor Healey, along with Secretary of Education Patrick Tutwiler, Commissioner of the Department of Early Education & Care Amy Kershaw, Mayor Jared Nicholson, and members of the Lynn State Delegation had the opportunity to hear from Lynn Community Health Center Pediatricians firsthand the impactful work being done by the Reach Out and Read program. Providers use multilingual books as a tool in measuring pediatric milestones. They model to the parent or guardian how to “read” to the child and how to engage the child in the process, emphasizing the importance reading is on brain development. Providers give parents/guardians the “prescription” to parents to read to their child every day for 20 minutes.

Expressing her support for the program, Governor Healey stated, “Investing in early childhood literacy is essential for the success of our children. Evidence-based literacy learning programs like Reach Out and Read play a crucial role in fostering a love for reading and language development among young learners.”

“We were honored to have Governor Healey and other distinguished guests visit our Center and witness firsthand the impactful work of our staff, especially for the Reach Out and Read program, said Lynn community Health Center CEO Brenda Rodriguez. “At LCHC we treat the whole child, and we are so proud to be one of the early partners of the program, dating back to 1996, with over 5,000 books given out each year. A partnership of this magnitude reinforces the importance of early childhood literacy in building strong, healthy communities.”

“We at Reach Out and Read deeply value our partnership with the Lynn Community Health Center, a pivotal ally in our mission towards health equity and early childhood success,” said Alex Chu, Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Program. “Health centers like LCHC serve as the very backbone of our communities, ensuring every child and family has access to the care and resources they need to thrive. Together, we’re proud to support over 6,000 children a year aged 0-5 in laying a foundation for success through the transformative power of books and the shared joy of reading aloud. It’s these kinds of community collaborations, ones that bridge the silos in health care and education, that we hope serve as a model for how we can care for children and families as a whole.”

At the conclusion of her visit, Governor Healey read to a group of Lynn Community Health Center pediatric patients, offering some hands-on experience and interaction.

For more information about the Reach Out and Read program at Lynn Community Health Center, please visit our website.

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