News Release

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Contact: Joy Vann, (757) 668-8566,

CHKD Reading Program Receives Literacy Partnership Award

HAMPTON ROADS – Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters was recently awarded The Literacy Partnership’s 2008 RADM Ben Hacker Leadership in Literacy Award for its Reach Out and Read Program.

The award recognizes CHKD’s corporate leadership in promoting literacy and healthy child development through the Reach Out and Read program which currently serves more than 6,400 children in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina.

Children’s Hospital started the program in 2001. It is designed to take advantage of regularly scheduled well-child visits to reach parents of children ages 6 months to five years. As part of each well-child visit, the pediatrician or nurse practitioner gives the child a new, age-appropriate book and gauges his or her interests and abilities. Parents are then given a “prescription” that encourages them to read aloud to their children every day.

“On behalf of everyone at CHKD and all of our pediatric medical practices, I would like to say how grateful we are to The Literacy Partnership for this award,” said LaVern Morris, director of the hospital’s Discovery Care Center and the Reach Out and Read program. “Staff members have been proud of the program since its inception and convinced that it is very worthwhile endeavor so receiving this award is heartwarming to us all.”

The mission of The Literacy Partnership is to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of literacy resources in Norfolk; to promote the awareness of literacy programs regionally; and advocate for economic growth in Hampton Roads through a literate workforce.

Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters is the only facility of its kind in Virginia, serving the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit hospital was founded in 1961 and last year handled approximately 6,200 inpatient admissions and 195,000 outpatient specialty, surgical and emergency room visits, addressing routine and complex illnesses, injuries and chronic conditions. The CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service Health Centers and satellite offices throughout its service region. The organization also includes a child care center, health education initiatives and a multitude of avenues through which our very generous community provides philanthropic support.