SAN MARCOS, TX
– The waiting area in Pediatrician Patricia Becker’s office is comfortable, brightly lit and full of toys for children to play with but according to Office Manager Kathy Rogers, the brightest smiles they see are on the faces of children sitting on their parent’s laps sharing books.
“Their faces light up even more when we tell them they can take a book home to read over and over again,” Rogers, a Bluebonnet Lion’s Club member, said.
In 2006, the Bluebonnet Lion’s Club was looking for a signature project to sponsor. They got involved in the national Reach Out and Read Program after Rogers attended a Texas State Pediatric Association Office Managers Conference, where she obtained information about the literacy program. Over the past 6 years, the organization has given away thousands of books to children of all ages, and they were able to expand that mission when they were awarded a $1,000 grant from the Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) Women’s Council in 2011. The money went to supply books for children ages 6 months to 5 years.
“The idea is that if a pediatrician talks to a parent about the importance of introducing books to their children starting at 6 months old, they will be more likely to take the advice seriously,” Rogers said.
Dr. Becker is among a growing group of child physicians who give free, age-appropriate books to patients at their annual well child exams while encouraging families to read together. The books help promote fine motor skills and tracking of the eyes. Pediatricians can also use the books as a tool to interact with children.
“The San Marcos Evening Rotary Club and the CTMC Women's Council, our Reach Out and Read partners, have enabled the program to continue and to ignite a spark that has spread throughout the community,” Rogers said. “Besides these organizations keeping us supplied with the books for the Reach Out and Read program guidelines, they have held book drives and have been keeping us supplied with books – new and used – that we are able to pass along to our older patients and their siblings.”
Another 2011 Women’s Council grant provided $3,000 to GENAustin
, an organization whose mission is to support and guide girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood. The grant made it possible for the group to implement its clubGEN
program in two Hays County middle schools, reaching approximately 60 girls through self-esteem building activities after school.
“From beginning to end of year, we saw the girls grow in their self-awareness and confidence about how they approached school, friends and family,” said Julia Cuba, executive director of GENAustin. “They were a close peer group that stuck together through many changes in their bodies and minds, and helped each other feel safe during challenging moments. CTMC truly contributed to the physical and
mental health of these young women who will grow up to positively impact the Hays County community.”
The Women’s Council is once again seeking grant applicants for 2013, which may be submitted through Feb. 15. Non-profits in Hays County with a heart for providing important services to women and children are encouraged to apply by downloading an application here
. and returning it electronically to the CTMC Foundation office at CTMFoundation@ahss.org on or before Feb. 15 at 5.p.m. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
Since its formation in 2010, the Women’s Council of the CTMC Foundation
has donated a total of $37,000 in grant money to seven local non-profits that focus on critical issues including poverty, violence and improving access to health care and education for women and children.
“We are pleased to have another opportunity to help other local organizations and programs that make a difference for women and children in Hays County,” said Clay DeStefano, Executive Director, CTMC Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how the grant opportunities will impact our community.”
The Women’s Council is a philanthropic committee of the CTMC Foundation. Its mission is to encourage women to strengthen and invest in our community by promoting programs and services that benefit women and children. The group is committed to empowering women to serve both as donors and decision makers.
For information about joining the Women’s Council or to make a donation, please call the CTMC Foundation office directly at (512) 753-3687
or visit www.ctmc.org
About Central Texas Medical Center Foundation
The Central Texas Medical Center Foundation was established in 1982. The Foundation is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) 3 organization whose purpose is to help raise philanthropic funds for improving programs and services at Central Texas Medical Center.
Central Texas Medical Center Foundation has worked hard to ensure that our hospital has the resources necessary to deliver high quality health care. To date, the Foundation has raised $6.3 million for advanced medical equipment, building projects, renovations and service enhancement.
CTMC is a 178-bed acute-care hospital providing a wide range of complex healthcare services in San Marcos, Texas, and neighboring communities. As part of Adventist Health System, CTMC brings a long tradition of Christian healthcare to San Marcos. Now with 44 hospitals located across the United States, the Adventist Health System is the largest not-for-profit Protestant hospital system in the country.