July 21, 2016 – Waterford, CT – On Friday, June 24, 2016, Panera Bread in Waterford, located at 903 Hartford Turnpike, hosted an event attended by several local families that featured popular children’s author Tish Rabe reading from her Dr. Seuss books Clam-I-Am: All About the Beach! and High? Low? Where Did It Go? Autographed books donated by Panera were offered for sale to the families. A total of $500, 100% of book sales, was donated to Reach Out and Read Connecticut, a non-profit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together. Children also had their photos taken with Clifford the Big Red Dog.

“Panera Bread was excited to bring a bestselling author and a nationally recognized literacy organization together in one location to better the community and bring joy and entertainment to children,” said Wendy Kopp, director of marketing for Panera/Howley Bread Group.

Tish Rabe has written over 165 children’s books, including titles for Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bear in the Big Blue House and Curious George. In 1996, five years after the death of Dr. Seuss, she was selected by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to create The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, a new line of rhyming science books for early readers.

Reach Out and Read serves nearly 4.5 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities. In June 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that books and literacy promotion be an "essential component of pediatric care" for all children, referencing Reach Out and Read as an effective intervention to engage parents and prepare children to achieve their potential in school and beyond.

In 2015, Panera/Howley Bread Group's 28 cafes in CT, MA and RI collectively donated over $5,700,000 in food and funds to a variety of community charities, including The Bridge Family Center in West Hartford, Connecticut; Children's Friend, Providence, Rhode Island; Connecticut Sports Foundation Against Cancer; Feeding America through local partners including Foodshare, the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and Rhode Island Community Food Bank; B's Mobility Ride for Muscular Dystrophy and Ryan's Hope for a Cure Charitable Foundation. Additionally, gift card and food donations are made to local non-profit organizations through Panera/Howley Bread Group's donations department and End-of-Day baked goods are donated to more than 80 churches and shelters across the franchisee’s bakery-cafe network.

Photo provided by Wendy Kopp, Panera Bread

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