Currently, only 53 percent of Osceola County third-grade students read on grade level. In an effort to improve that statistic, Poinciana Medical Center recently partnered with Osceola Reads, a five-year initiative aimed at increasing the literacy rate throughout Osceola County. Through the partnership, the hospital became the first business in the county to feature a mobile iPad reading station.
The reading station, located in the lobby of the hospital’s Emergency Department, includes two iPads equipped with Footsteps2Brilliance, an app that helps children practice vocabulary, word comprehension, writing, fluency and other critical skills through interactive games, puzzles and books.
“When we were approached with the opportunity to partner with Osceola Reads, I knew this effort would fit perfectly within the mission of our hospital,” said Chris Cosby, CEO of Poinciana Medical Center. “With more than 17,500 pediatric ER visits every year, we want to give the children who spend time in our waiting room the option to spend their time productively and help foster their love of reading.”
Poinciana Medical Center has already seen positive results from the program. In approximately two months, children spent 83 hours reading on the tablets and read a total of 433 books.