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A day of Giving to Bucks County Elementary Schools
December 06, 2023

St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) continues to support the youngest citizens of the Bucks County community through partnerships that promote literacy and mental and emotional health.

At ribbon-cuttings on Oct. 23, officials from St. Luke’s presented more than 1,000 age-appropriate books to Quakertown Elementary School and to the Head Start program, located at Neidig Elementary School, to encourage and enhance students’ personal enjoyment and academic growth through reading.

“As part of St. Luke’s 150th anniversary celebrations, we are proud and honored to partner with schools and nonprofits working to make a positive impact on the health of our community,” said St. Luke’s Network Director, Community Health Clinical Operations Kathy Ramson.

The network also provided Neidig Elementary School’s Neidig Nook and the Mindfulness Room with items to promote relaxation in these calming havens for students and teachers to practice self-regulation, mindfulness and self-calming techniques during the school day.

“The entire Neidig teaching team appreciates St. Luke's generosity and support,” said Scott Godshalk, Neidig principal. “These rooms provide our school community with a space and the resources to take care of themselves so they can, in turn, take care of others.”

SLUHN chose to support literacy enhancement and mental/behavioral health based on needs identified in 2022’s Community Health Needs Assessment for the region, which also found that access to medical care is a major challenge throughout the county.

Gregory Lesher, Ed.D., Quakertown Elementary School, thanked St. Luke’s for the books, saying, “They are not just bound pages but doorways to worlds unknown, reservoirs of wisdom, and mentors in solitude… St. Luke’s has not only given us books; they have given us the keys to endless possibilities, the tools to dream bigger, and the resources to turn those dreams into reality.”

According to Kelsey Gasper, St. Luke’s Community Health Initiatives Coordinator, the books promote STEAM careers and careers in healthcare, effective communication skills, how to be healthy both in body and mind, and how to celebrate what makes us all unique.

In addition to the library at Quakertown Elementary and Head Start at Neidig, the books are available through a vending machine at Quakertown Elementary, where students can access them as rewards for good behavior and academic performance.

“The bookshelf and books will open the doors to a world of imagination, nurture a love for reading and empower our educators to meet the literacy needs of our students,” added Brian Karabinos, Head Start supervisor.

“St. Luke’s is pleased to provide resources to our educational partners that will help and encourage their young students to develop a love of reading and to learn to use effective self-care techniques that will benefit them throughout their lives,” Ramson said.