FEELING SUNNY: CHCHC hosts ‘Reach Out to Read’ event

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Perhaps Carter Fraze best put the love of reading into words at the 2017 Reach Out and Read event at the Charles Henderson Child Health Center Tuesday,

“Reading puts you in the book,” the 11-year-old reader said. “When you read, you are on an adventure.”

Carter and his brother, Taylor, age 14, both love adventure books. Reading puts them “in the book’ and a part of exciting adventures.

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And that’s the real beauty of books, said Rosemary Hanson, CHCHC Reach Out and Read coordinator.

“Through reading you can go anywhere and do anything,” she said. “Children that enjoy books at an early age will likely become readers. That’s why it’s important for parents to read to their children at an early age.  Studies have shown that children who are exposed to books early, enjoy reading more and do better in school.”

Hanson said CHCHC promotes reading in several ways, including the annual “Reach Out and Read” event.

“Each child who comes to CHCHC for wellness checks gets a brand new book, beginning at six months through age five,” she said. “That’s how much importance CHCHC places on reading.”

Dr. Linda Felton-Smith, retired educator, spent the morning at CHCHC in support of the statewide reading initiative.

“The Charles Henderson Child Health Center was a good place for me to spend my time today,” Felton-Smith said. “Today, more than ever, we need to stress to parents the importance of reading – for children to spend time with the printed word. Children who read more have a greater opportunity to experience success. Parents need to be 100 percent committed in getting their children involved in reading.”

Trissy Magrath was busy painting faces at the Reach Out and Read event, but not too busy to talk about the role reading has played in her life.

“I was adopted when I was 12 years old but I remember liking books when I was in kindergarten,” she said. “When I was about 10 years old, I became a reader. Reading can take you to places you can only imagine. And, reading can be an escape. It can take you to places you want to be when you don’t like where you are.”

Today, Magrath has about 400 books in her home library. She reads for enjoyment and she reads for information. She is sold on reading.

Teresa Colvin, children’s librarian at the Troy Public Library, said she encourages children and young adults to read because reading is a lifetime skill.

“Reading is the one skill that you can enjoy all your life,” she said. “The book that we read at Reach Out and Read today, was ‘Sometimes I Feel Sunny.’ Sometimes we feel sunny; sometimes we feel funny; sometimes we feel sad; sometimes we feel mad.’ Books help us understand ourselves and the world around us. They take us to places that we’ll probably never go and introduce us to people we’ll probably never meet. They open the world to us. That’s what books can do.”