“Open a Book” Puppet Show is Back for Another Year

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Provided by Optima Health

Optima Health is sponsoring the “Open a Book” puppet program for a second year as part of its reading program. The puppet program is brand new for 2019-2020.

Optima Health Reading Program

The Optima Health reading program offers a variety of literacy services for low-income children and adults, recognizing the positive effect that reading has on lifelong health and well-being. Literacy plays a large role in improving the social determinants of health, which include financial stability, food security, education, housing, transportation, and access to quality healthcare.

The Optima Health reading program includes sponsorship of student tutoring and scholarships, payment for Graduate Education Development (GED), screening for developmental delays and connecting members with resources, participation in back-to-school events, and placing children’s books in the home of every member household. It also includes puppet performances that emphasize the joy of reading and provide a book for every child in attendance to take home.

Puppet Program

The puppet program has been developed just for Optima Health, a service of Sentara Healthcare. The program features Rainbow Puppet Productions, a children’s theater company.

Mary Peake was an African American teacher best known for teaching Virginia children of former slaves in 1861. She is prominently featured in the new puppet show and a new chapter book for fourth and fifth grade students. A new book for pre-k to third grade students will be available as well.

Through these shows, Optima Health will reach more than 48,000 children in different locations such as public schools, public libraries, and community events in lower-income areas throughout Virginia.

Dr. Thomas Lundquist, Chief Medical Officer at Optima Health, provided a physician’s perspective. He said, “Reading together is a great way to help your child grow socially and emotionally. Plus, reading can improve their vocabulary, grow their self-confidence and broaden their imagination.”

Shows in Prince William

Rainbow Puppet Productions will be at two Prince William Public Libraries on Monday, Jan. 27 to present its new puppet show and distribute the books. We invite you to view the new puppet program live at one of these locations:

  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon: Chinn Park Regional Public Library, 13065 Chinn Park Drive, Woodbridge
  • 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.: Potomac Community Library, 2201 Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge.
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