CTMC Partners With United Way of Hays County on Born Learning / Born to Read Campaign
ABOVE: Representatives from the United Way of Hays County are shown with members of the Central Texas Medical Center family June 21 as they celebrated their partnership on the Born Learning / Born to Read campaign.
SAN MARCOS, TX – United Way of Hays County, in partnership with Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC), today kicked off an unprecedented public engagement campaign called Born Learning / Born to Read, designed to help parents, caregivers and the Hays County community as a whole provide young children with early learning opportunities.
The Born Learning / Born to Read campaign is designed specifically to help young children prepare for school. Through education material including parenting tips, resource guide and books being distributed to every new parent who delivers at CTMC and Hays County residents who receive services at the Hays County Health Department, it offers “doable” action steps that make it easy – and fun – to help young children learn during everyday activities such as sorting laundry or grocery shopping.
“We believe that the Born Learning / Born to Read campaign will greatly benefit the education of children in the local community, and the hospital is happy to be among the groups who are offering support for this worthwhile cause,” said CTMC CEO/President Sam Huenergardt.
The fact is, nearly half Central Texas kindergarteners enter school with underdeveloped learning skills. According to the U.S. Department of Education, these kindergarteners fall behind their peers in essential skills like reading. And low-income children are at least 1-2 years behind.
“Too many children are coming to school prepared to fail – in school, work and life, so we are launching the Born Learning/ Born to Read campaign. We want to do all we can to help parents and caregivers prepare young children to succeed in school,” said Kim Porterfield, United Way of Hays County Board Chair. “What if every child had five years of education before kindergarten? The reality is that children are learning constantly, right from birth. We know what happens in a child’s early years matters – for success in life and for school readiness.”
The Born Learning / Born to Read campaign is part of a national effort, led by United Way, the Ad Council and Civitas. This year, it’s expected to include almost $30 million worth of public service announcements – on TV, cable, radio, in newspapers, magazines, billboards and the Internet – and $7 million of educational material. The campaign website is full of simple tips, “doable” action steps and information. The advertising, the website and most of the materials are also in Spanish. The educational material and website translates cutting-edge research on early childhood development into user-friendly tools, including tips to encourage learning, answers to help care for young children; fact sheets on a child’s ages and stages; and checklists to simplify parenting.
Locally, the Born Learning / Born to Read campaign, supported by United Way of Hays County, UWHC Young Leaders Society, Fedex-Kinkos, the San Marcos Public Library and Central Texas Medical Center, will include a designated website where any parent can download parenting tools, educational material and a resource guide to Hays County services along with print ads to encourage all Hays County residents to become involved in the education of the youngest members of our community. These are in addition to the printed materials, books and library cards that will be distributed through CTMC and the Hays County Health Department.
United Way of Hays County and its partners hope that the Born Learning/ Born to Read campaign will help meet parents’ needs in this community to get young children off to the right start. Parents who need Born Learning materials or information and resources about early learning programs in Hays County can call 211 at or visit the United Way Born Learning / Born to Read website at www.unitedwayhaysco.org/born-learningborn-read-hays-county.
The hospital, which originated in 1923 as Hays County Soldiers, Sailors and Marines Memorial Hospital, was restructured in 1960. The present facility was opened at its current Wonder World Drive location in 1983. The CTMC staff of more than 700 employees works with more than 220 active and consulting physicians to provide quality services to patients and their families. In addition, over 200 community members and interns from area educational institutions volunteer their services to the hospital. In 2010 and again in 2011, CTMC was named The Best Hospital in Hays County. In addition, CTMC added a certified Chest Pain Center to its ER capabilities in 2011. In 2012, CTMC became the first operating room along the IH-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio to be equipped with a da Vinci robotic-assisted surgery suite.
CTMC is a member of the Adventist Health System (AHS), a not-for-profit healthcare organization that emphasizes Christ at the center of care. Founded in 1973, AHS has quickly grown to become the largest not-for-profit Protestant healthcare provider in the nation. Today, AHS supports 43 hospitals and employs 55,000 individuals. AHS hospitals are comprised of 7,700 licensed beds, providing care for 4 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient and emergency room visits.