The 2016 Regional Literacy Champion Award recognizes the extraordinary efforts of local early literacy champions in communities around the state and the incredible contributions made by individuals and community partners from the mountains to the plains. The awards were presented to four incredible literacy champion, one at each of the Reach Out and Read Colorado Regional Conferences.
Eastern Plains Award Winner: Kim Tate
Kim Tate is a nurse practitioner at the Walsh Medical Clinic, which is located in the small town of Walsh in Baca County. Based on the demographics of this county, there is tremendous need for someone like Kim to promote literacy and serve as a champion for Reach Out and Read. Kim was born and raised in Walsh and has practiced in Walsh for 35 years. She loves giving books to children and encouraging parents to read to their children. Kim is a Reach Out and Read ambassador and has been willing to help promote the program in any way that she can. She has written letters to give to sites to encourage their involvement in the program and has been eager to contact providers regarding training. She is a wonderful asset to Reach Out and Read, the town of Walsh, and Baca County.
Nominated by Kathy Anderson, Eastern Plains Regional Coordinator for Reach Out and Read Colorado
Southern Colorado Award Winner: Stella Ocampo
Dr. Stella Ocampo is a pediatrician and has been at the La Junta Clinic with Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. since 2001. She has over 20 years of experience and has a special interest in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Dr. Ocampo recognizes the importance of laying a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. She continually strives to meet and exceed her patients’ expectations while maintaining the highest standards of excellence in pediatric medicine. Dr. Ocampo has received distinction through the Bridges to Excellence Medical Home Recognition Program for her commitment to delivering superior care to all of her patients.
Nominated by Judy Duarte, Southern Colorado Regional Coordinator for Reach Out and Read Colorado
Southwest Award Winner: Amanda Harrison
Amanda has successfully started two different Reach Out and Read sites in Durango. She has been a strong advocate in the community for early childhood literacy and works very hard to ensure the programs she has worked on are strong and efficient. She first started the Reach Out and Read program in a small private practice office in 2006. She left that office, but due to her excellent dedication to the program and great organizational skills it continues to be a strong and thriving program that is still following her lead. She recently was able to start the program in a large 13 provider pediatric office that serves the majority of children in Southwest Colorado. She has been able to get all the providers excited and on board to being the strongest site in the area. If anyone deserves recognition in southwest Colorado, it is her.
Nominated by Clint Harrison, spouse
Northwest Award Winner: Diane Purse
Diane Purse is a pediatric nurse practitioner, currently working at Mountain Family Health Center. She has been a health care provider for many years, bringing high quality health care to the uninsured, primarily immigrant children of the Vail valley. She brought Reach Out and Read to Mountain Family Health Center when it first became available and has introduced the program to other clinics in the county. She is an outstanding advocate for early literacy among socially challenged patients. She also goes “above and beyond” the program and has encouraged clinic staff and local organizations to bring gently used children’s books to the clinic to leave in the waiting room, free for the taking. The books quickly disappear! Diane not only “gives books” but she “knows books.” She is a superb resource on children’s literature, knowing just the right book for just the right situation. She’ll probably be a children’s librarian in her next life!
Nominated by Kent Petrie, physician colleague at Mountain Family Health Center