06/02/05 — Sen. Burr learns about Wayne reading program

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Sen. Burr learns about Wayne reading program

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on June 2, 2005 1:46 PM

Sen. Richard Burr found out first-hand Wednesday about Wayne County's Reach Out and Read program when he visited Carolina Adult and Pediatric Center.

"What's your name?" asked 4-year-old Corie Stanley, as Burr seated himself at the reading table in the waiting room.

"Richard," he laughed, as Corie pointed out her friends, 2-year-old Autumn Pearson and her 4-year-old brother Kobe Pearson.

Burr read the youngsters a story as 4-year-old Gissell Aguilar helped him pronounce the parts of the book written in Spanish.

Mario Aguilar, Gissell's father, said she understands both English and Spanish because they switch back and forth between both languages at home.

Reach Out and Read is a national program that trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric check-ups from six months to five years. The program has a special focus on children growing up in poverty.

In Wayne County, the public library and Smart Start have combined to bring volunteers to read to children at the Carolina Adult and Pediatric Center, Wayne County Health Department and Goldsboro Pediatrics.

Carole Corwin, a retired state employee and speech language pathologist, is one of the local volunteers.

"I've always wanted to do this," she said.

Matt Veno came down from the national Reach Out and Read office in Boston.

"Whenever we have a member of Congress visit any of the programs, we try to be there," Veno said. "Sen. Burr has been very supportive of this program and we want to show our support."