First Lady Stephanie Chafee Honors Performance Physical Therapy’s Sponsorship of The Reach Out and Read Program at Chafee Health Center

PROVIDENCE, RI — Pediatricians and nurses at Providence Community Health Center’s Chafee Health Center are sending families home from checkups with free books and a very important prescription – “read aloud to your children.”  Rhode Island’s First Lady, Stephanie Chafee visited the health center to show her support for Performance Physical Therapy’s four year sponsorship of the Reach Out and Read program at Chafee Health Center.

Chafee Health Center in Providence is one of 44 sites statewide that participate in Reach Out and Read, a program that prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  Reach Out and Read’s medical providers advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and give free books to children at checkups from 6 months to 5 years. The books are new, carefully chosen, and developmentally-appropriate. Through Reach Out and Read, each child starts kindergarten with a home library of up to 10 books and a parent who has been encouraged, at every well-child visit, to actively engage in their child’s literacy development through reading.

Mrs. Chafee recognized Chafee Health Center and Michelle Collie, owner of Performance Physical Therapy, which sponsors Reach Out and Read at the facility, for their outstanding partnership. “Raising three children and working as a nurse with uninsured families, I understand all too well the importance of reading regularly to children and intervening early in the lives of all children to set them on a path to success. Reach Out and Read is a proven-effective means of helping prepare children, especially those from low-income households, for success in school,” said Chafee. “I commend Michelle Collie, of Performance Physical Therapy and Chafee Health Center for making an invaluable investment in the children of Providence, and creating a model for other communities across our state and nation.”

Reach Out and Read RI created the “adopt-a-site” program as a way to engage corporations in giving back to their communities. “Local businesses take pride in, and want to contribute to, the long term vitality of the communities where their employees live and work,” said Susanna Beckwith, RORRI’s Executive Director. Performance Physical Therapy is in its fourth year of sponsoring the Reach Out and Read program at Chafee Health Center in Providence, covering the costs of all the book and operational expenses associated with running the Reach Out and Read program at this site.

Michelle Collie feels strongly about supporting the community and she’s committed to children having access to both healthcare and early literacy services. “We believe strongly in helping to make Providence a place where people want to live and work, and giving back through our Reach Out and Read sponsorship is one way we can put that ideal into action. It’s an honor to play a role in helping to prepare our youngsters for school and give them an opportunity for a brighter future.”

Reach Out and Read (ROR) is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. In Rhode Island, there are 44 health care sites handing out more than 50,000 books to 30,000 children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years.

Performance Physical Therapy is a state-of the-art, physical therapy practice offering a variety of innovative services that help patients of all ages achieve optimal physical function – fitness, wellness and rehabilitation. Performance specializes in sports injuries, spinal, orthopedic and post-surgical conditions, and creates a variety of strength and wellness strategies to help patients heal fully and quickly. With the largest number of board-certified physical therapists in the state of Rhode Island, Performance is a leader in the health care community. Performance Physical Therapy is known for their customer care, friendly staff and dedication to providing the latest solutions to their patients.

Chafee Health Center is a part of the Providence Community Health Center network which cares for more than 35,000 patients at health-care facilities around the city. Established in 1968, Providence Community Health Centers is the largest primary health-care provider in Providence and treats patients regardless of their ability to pay. In addition to the five health clinics, they also operate a school-based program, and a dental clinic. They are the largest provider of the WIC (Women, Infant and Children) nutrition program in Rhode Island, with 6,500 participants. With the well-being of their patients at the top of their agenda, they are dedicated to preventing most common medical problems as seen by pediatricians, internists, family practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and OB/GYN physicians.

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