The Platteville Kiwanis Club recently made a $2,700 donation to the Southwest Health Foundation to support Southwest Health’s Reach Out and Read program, championed by local doctors to improve childhood literacy.
The funds were raised through the Platteville Kiwanis Club Chicken Barbeque at Legion Field in June, with hundreds of area residents turning out to support the first-time event.
Kiwanis President Gary Lindahl credits the many student and faculty members of the Platteville High School Key Club, a Kiwanis affiliated student organization, with helping make the fundraising event a success.
“Our Key Club students are a truly outstanding team of young citizens who are involved in very meaningful projects that improve life in our community and around the world,” said Lindahl. “We could not be more proud of the tremendous work ethic and contributions of time and energy from this exemplary group of students.”
Southwest Health providers and staff also recognized the efforts of Kiwanis and their Key Club volunteers.
“Thanks to the very kind and generous volunteer efforts of the Kiwanis and Key Club members, we are able to not only keep the Reach out and Read program alive and well but also improve its quality and impact on the children of our area communities,” said Southwest Health Foundation Director Tammie Richter, “This year our local Kiwanis Club created a new community event that was extremely well received by the people who came out that evening for barbeque chicken dinners, and the impact of their work on child literacy will reach far into the future.”
The goal of Southwest Health’s Reach Out and Read program is to promote early literacy and school readiness by bringing children’s books into well-child visits as well as to encourage parents by emphasizing the importance of reading aloud to children. Reach Out and Read distributes books and opens discussion on reading in order to build on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning in infancy. In this way, Kiwanis, Key Club, and Southwest Health providers have teamed up to help equip parents with tools and knowledge to ensure their children are prepared to learn when they start school.