Disney Awards Grant to Legacy’s “Little Readers” Initiative

Legacy’s “Little Readers” celebrates Disney grant with commemorative for pediatric patients.

Photo: Emily Wang, Legacy Volunteer; Maria Cantu, Legacy Dir. Of Development Community Giving; Debbie Costello, Legacy Volunteer Manager


By India Ogazi


Legacy Community Health, one of Texas’ largest community health systems, wins a Disney Be Inspired Grant for its Legacy’s Little Readers program, which has provided 47,000 books at no cost to the health center’s pediatric patients. The Little Readers program is in partnership with H-E-B and the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation. The $500 grant was awarded to Legacy on behalf of Emily Wang, a 17-year-old student volunteer.

“We’re very grateful for Disney’s contribution to helping eliminate Houston’s literacy crisis,” said Debbie Costello, Legacy’s volunteer manager. “The more prescriptions for reading we can write to our pediatric patients, the better. And Emily’s enthusiasm for childhood literacy has helped to expand our program.”

On average, there is only one book available for every 300 children in low-income areas. Nearly 75 percent of kids in Houston are considered economically disadvantaged.

Legacy celebrated Wang’s accomplishment and the grant with a special Little Readers event for pediatric patients this past Saturday, at Legacy’s Southwest clinic. Pediatric patients received free books and participated in arts and crafts.

“I have always loved reading, so having this opportunity to help fight illiteracy was exciting for me,” said Wang.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the connection between literacy and child development is an essential part of health care. Legacy provides books to children 6 months to 12-years-old.