On READ Program days in Central and Southern Illinois Schools, the deaf guest reader brings to life stories related to healthy habits and talks with the students about taking care of their hearing equipment, advocating for their communication needs, living healthy lifestyles through good eating and exercise habits. In FY16 CHOICES held READ Program Days at 24 schools and distributed 10,115 books to predominantly children from low-income families who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing.
In addition to fostering an appreciation of books and motivation to read, the students are exposed to successful deaf adults using a variety of communication modes, working in a variety of fields. In FY17 our healthcare theme is expanding to include accessing emergency healthcare such as: how to find a first aid kit, what to do in an emergency, how to call 911, etc. The successful READ Program has, to date, distributed over 30,000 books to encourage early literacy, setting these children on paths to reach their full potential as happy, successful, fulfilled adults.
FHSR has chosen to partner with CHS and expand the READ program to Central and Southern Illinois to reach children in need of this outstanding program.