Hospital Dieticians Participate in Reading Program


Two women reading books to kids

For more than a decade, teachers at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California have participated in national campaign to promote the importance of early literacy. Read for the Record ® is the name of the campaign that encourages people around the world to read the same book to kids on the same day.

“Our teachers turn the event into a special learning opportunity for our kids and build lesson plans around the theme of the book selected,” said Margaret Kugler, school coordinator. “This year’s book provided a unique opportunity for our school team to collaborate with our nutritional services department, and our kids loved it.”

Thank You Omu! by Oge Mora tells the story of an elderly woman who brings her neighborhood together when she makes a fantastic pot of stew. Drawing inspiration from the story, Kugler and teacher Barbara Brooks crafted a lesson plan that showed how food and community come together. Clinical dieticians Sarah McCallum and Becky Bozdech helped cook up a recipe for success. They brought the story to life by preparing a batch of Fideo Soup, a favorite of patients and families. But before serving the soup, Bozdech joined school aide Areli Hernandez in reading the story of how sharing a special meal can bring a community together.

Two women reading books to kids

McCallum said the recipe for Fideo Soup came from the mother of a patient who made a batch for patients and families one evening. After seeing how much the kids enjoyed it, the dieticians asked for the recipe. Now the hospital’s Nutritional Services team serves the soup to patients every Monday.

Read for the Record ® is sponsored by Jumpstart, a national early education organization. The campaign has engaged more than 20 million people worldwide since it began in 2006. The 2019 Read for the Record ® event took place on Nov. 7, when patients attending the school at the Northern California Shriners Hospital heard the story and received a copy of the book Thank You Omu!

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our health care system provides advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. All care and services are provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Northern California Shriners Hospital is located at 2425 Stockton Blvd., in Sacramento. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Catherine Curran | Director, Public Relations | 916-453-2218 |