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PA student makes a difference – one book at a time

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More than 200 books were passed out by ASHS student Nicola Arnott, PA ’10, to children from low-income families at the Golden Gate Community Center health screenings on October 3. The donation was made possible by a collaboration of efforts from Damon Dixon, M.D., M.P.H., adjunct faculty, physician assistant studies; Reach Out and Read (ROR); and Southwest Human Development.

ROR is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and is centered on training doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud, as well as making it possible to give books to children at pediatric checkups. Their focus is on children who are growing up in poverty and who are unable to afford reading material.

“The program really means a lot to me and is close to my heart,” said Arnott. “One of the mothers actually told me that it was her child’s first book and how grateful she was for what I was doing for the community members. I think that was the point in the day when I knew that I had made a difference.”

Dr. Dixon currently has a grant from the ROR program and is supported by Southwest Human Development. “The program is an excellent example of public and private partnership missions to improve their communities,” said Dr. Dixon. “This program is cost-effective and benefits the community, allowing more children to have a greater chance for success.”

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