Promoting early literacy with Reach Out and Read

Pre-School children listen to Maurice Cummings (Special Assistant NYS Assemblyman Keith Wright) animatedly read a children’s book to their group at Area 145 Day Care Center in Harlem.
Photo by Gideon Manasseh
Photo by Gideon Manasseh

Knowledgeable shout-outs and giggles of awareness were the delightful responses of pre-school children as they listened to Maurice Cummings, special assistant to the NYS Assemblyman Keith Wright, animatedly read a children’s book to their group of 30-plus at the Area 145 Day Care Center in Harlem’s Hamilton Heights.

On Thursday, Aug. 23, Cummings was a guest presenter of Heritage Health and Housing, Inc. at its HealthCare Center’s distinctive event to promote early literacy called Reach Out and Read. As part of this program, Heritage gives books to children during their annual physicals, so that early literacy in children is promoted. The benefit of this program is that by giving books to children and having their parents read to them, children will become interested in learning and reading, thus making them better educated and able to achieve more in their educational future.

Heritage Health and Housing, Inc. is a private non-profit service and development agency providing comprehensive health, mental health and residential services to residents of northern Manhattan, the South Bronx and Queens. Incorporated in 1969, Heritage has two components. Heritage Health, which provides primary medical care and dental services with an emphasis on preventive health care to approximately 4,500 individual patients with approximately 1,500 school age children that are seen for pediatric health and dental services. Heritage has executive offices at 416 West 127th Street, New York, New York 10027. The agency’s chief executive officer is Dr. Alvaro Simmons; the chair of the Heritage board of directors is Dr. David M. Rosenthal.

The Area 145 Day Care Center, under Area 145 Daycare Inc., is one of the vital community partners with whom Heritage has forged the Northern Manhattan Health Home Network. Established in 1972, Area 145 Daycare, Inc. aims to cultivate creativity and independence, while promoting academic enrichment. The Center is located at 510 West 145th Street, New York, New York 10031. The director is Consuelo Rebong; the Board Chair is Brendel Woolford.

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