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Award Recipients

Lynne BurkeLynne Burke Selected as the 2016 MNAAP Child Advocacy Award Recipient

Lynne Burke has been an advocate for improved health and literacy since her early years as a syndicated columnist and freelance journalist specializing in children’s literacy. These passions made her a natural fit as the state coordinator for Reach Out and Read-MN.  In 2003 when HCMC's downtown Minneapolis Pediatric Clinic became the sixth Reach Out and Read site in the state, only 8,000 Minnesota children were involved. HCMC served as the unofficial Reach Out and Read incubator since 2005, contributing office space and facilities to the state's coalition of Reach Out and Read clinics.

Reach Out and Read" reinforces the parent's role as the first and most important teacher. It gives parents the tools and techniques to help their children succeed and is aimed at children ages 6 months to 5 years old. A pediatric clinician gives a child a book at each well-child visit and reinforces the importance of reading.

As book donations and purchases were amassed to stock the growing number of clinics using the Reach Out and Read program, the Burke household became the occasional storage spot for large numbers of books on their way out to clinics.

Now with 215 participating clinics and over 1475 participating health care providers in Minnesota, Reach Out and Read, under Lynne’s passionate leadership, has touched every county in Minnesota. Lynne has advocated for pediatric clinicians to “join us to prescribe change…one book at a time.” …Or as her supportive cheerleader, Melvin Carter III, Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, has said about the investment in Reach Out and Read…”buy the books and we’ll throw in the doctors for free.” 

We honor Lynne Burke as the “secret sauce,” the child advocate -- who enhances health care and literacy with Reach Out and Read. 

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