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SLUHN Employee Shares Her Own Book for Read Across America
March 06, 2024

Paula Stoneback reads to children at Quakertown Elementary School.

Children at Quakertown Elementary School had a special treat during Read Across America week. Not only were they read to, but they also heard the book from the author herself, Paula Stoneback, of Green Lane.

Stoneback was one of more than 100 St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) employees who participated in Read Across America week, March 2-6, which is celebrated to promote literacy and aims to encourage reading while educating people about its benefits. Stoneback, a Senior Financial Analyst at SLUHN, has written four children’s books. She read her book, Suzie Q Buckaroo, Sleepover at the Zoo, Part 1, to elementary classes.

“It’s been a wonderful experience going out to the schools to meet children and read to them,” said Stoneback, who has participated in Read Across America with SLUHN for the last six years. (During COVID, Read Across America was held virtually.) This is the first year Stoneback was asked to read her own book to the children, and she was delighted to do so.

As a reader, Stoneback said the children always have wonderful questions for her and are especially interested in what it’s like to be an author, she said. “Many raise their hands and say they want to be authors, too,” said Stoneback, who encourages them to write their ideas down. “I tell them you’ve got to get it out on paper.”

Stoneback has been employed by the accounting department at St. Luke’s for eight years. She handles the financials for Monroe Hospital, SLETS, Clinical Trials, Gift Shops, and the Fitness Centers. Prior to joining SLUHN, Stoneback was a wedding photographer and had her own business for 20 years. “I honed my writing skills with a successful blog that was written about each wedding,” she said. She retired from the business when she came to SLUHN but had always had a desire to write. “I thought I would write mystery novels,” she said, “but I stumbled on to writing children’s books in 2018.” Her first book was for children 7-12, North Pole East.  Her second book, Mighty Madison, Dreams Do Come True, was for younger children. Both of those books were illustrated by Parker Simpson.

Stoneback has since written a Part 2 to Suzie Q Buckaroo, Sleepover at the Zoo. Stoneback illustrated both Suzie Q books, which also are for younger children, herself. All of her books are available on Amazon. Stoneback will sign books for any SLUHN employees who ask.

For this year’s Read Across America celebration, St. Luke’s Department of Community Health partnered with 26 schools throughout the region.

St. Luke’s identifies need through our Community Health Needs Assessments and partners with our school communities throughout the year to consistently connect students, staff, and families to care, education and resources. Read Across America provides an opportunity to further bring our St. Luke’s staff and mentoring initiatives to our schools to demonstrate commitment to the communities we serve.