Resorts World Casino executives joined the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Pediatric team on Friday dedicating their time to read books to children in observance of National Drop Everything and Read Day (D.E.A.R. Day).
“Resorts World Casino New York City is proud to support education programs that provide critical resources to children in our community,” said Scott Molina, president of Resorts World Casino. “Drop Everything and Read Day shines a spotlight on the importance of reading and we are excited to put down our work for a day, pick up some great books and share the experience with these inspirational children.”
Joe DeVito, director of Player Development at Resorts, and May Uri vice president of Human Resources, dropped their busy schedules on April 12 visiting children on the hospital’s Pediatrics Unit — located at 8900 Van Wyck Expwy. — with a variety of books for story time.
National Drop Everything and Read Day is an observance devoted to events and activities that encourage the love of reading among children. It was first introduced in Beverly Cleary’s book, “Ramona Quimby, Age 8.” The commemorative date of April 12 was chosen in honor of the beloved children’s books author.
According to Dr. Marge Lilienthal, director of Nursing for Women and Children’s Services, reading to young children is important in their development.
“When parents read to their kids it forms a better relationship, it stimulates the child cognitive or brain development and it sets them up for a lifelong love of reading,” said Lilienthal. “If we do this every day for half an hour, it’s something children and parents can count on. It’s fun and bonding and creates a lifelong memory.”
Bruce J. Flanz, president of Jamaica Hospital, said their pediatric team aims to create an environment that makes children feel at home.
“A Child Life Specialist is on staff to ensure a positive experience by facilitating recreational and educational activities. She provides emotional, developmental and social support, during a time when children may feel anxious or afraid,” said Flanz.
In addition to reading stories on D.E.A.R. Day, executives from Resorts World toured the hospital’s Pediatric Unit and Emergency Department adorned with playful artwork and newly installed wall mounted, pediatric activity centers donated from the casino. The activity centers are designed to help develop children’s motor and sensory systems.
“When a child comes in, right from the start they’re welcomed with being able to play with different things on the wall,” said Michelle Stoddart, director of Public Relations and Community Development at Resorts. “It’s all of their height and Resorts was able to pick that bill up for the hospital making sure kids have everything that they need to make their stay here a little less traumatic.”
Jamaica Hospital Child Life Specialist Tracey Kunj-Ramen said, “We are grateful for the donation of the pediatric activity centers. Our team will utilize these tools to engage children in play and help ease their anxieties.”