OCALA, Fla. (April 26, 2021) --- United Way of Marion County (UWMC) partnered with AdventHealth Ocala to support the ReadingPals program for Kindergarten through 3rd Grade students in 19 schools in Marion County. Thanks to the generosity of AdventHealth Ocala, UWMC will provide 300 students with the “Eating the Alphabet” book-in-a-bag packets, which include community resources for parents and their students.
ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) to 3rd grade who may need extra help, utilizing one-on-one or small group settings. Locally, United Way partners with Marion County Public Schools to provide ReadingPals in kindergarten classrooms. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has seen a reduction in funding and has moved to a virtual platform for the time being, serving up to 3rd grade for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
“At AdventHealth Ocala we truly believe learning healthy habits at an early age is the foundation for overall good health,” said Joe Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of AdventHealth Ocala. “We are excited to support United Way and to encourage our future community leaders to develop and maintain healthy habits they can use to empower others within their homes and the greater Marion County community.”
In addition to the support of the program, Joe Johnson also hosted a virtual reading to support the new ReadingPals platform. The reading is available to view on UWMC’s Facebook page or at UWMC.org/ReadingPals.
If you are interested in volunteering for the program or want to sponsor an upcoming book, please contact Jan Hathaway at 352-732-9696 ext. 212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about AdventHealth Ocala, please visit AdventHealthOcala.com.
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The United Way of Marion County is a locally governed not-for-profit organization who works to create a thriving community where adults and children achieve their full potential with access to a solid education, good health, and financially stable households. We have been a Community Solutions partner for over 60 years as we collaborate with local businesses and other non-profits to create a positive and sustainable impact in our community. We strategically invest in effective programs and services that solve complex issues, bettering the community for all. For more information, visit: www.UWMC.org.
About AdventHealth Ocala
AdventHealth Ocala is a 425-bed full-service community hospital that opened in 1898. In August 2018, AdventHealth Ocala became a part of the AdventHealth network. The facility is 640,000 square feet and sits on 15-acres. Within the hospital network there are two 24/7 ER facilities, one onsite and another offsite, to better meet the needs of Marion County. The onsite ER has both an adult and children’s emergency department that has over 50 combined beds with the ability to treat many conditions and injuries. Established in 2002, the offsite ER, AdventHealth TimberRidge ER, is a 24-hour full-service emergency department with 16 private rooms and was the first offsite ER in the state of Florida. The hospital offers many inpatient services including, labor and delivery through The Baby Place®, Orthopedic unit, comprehensive cardiovascular surgery unit, and a wound care center. AdventHealth Ocala is accredited The Joint Commission and has received recognition from American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. They are an Accredited Chest Pain Center, Accredited Heart Failure Center and a Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center.
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