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Indian Health Service awards $200K grant to buy Native children's books for Arizona clinics

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

The Indian Health Service has awarded $200,000 grant to the nonprofit Reach Out and Read to buy more than 30,000 children’s books for clinics nationwide.

Sites in New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota will benefit from this funding, but nearly a fourth of the 45 IHS clinics are located in Arizona. 

Ten medical centers from downtown Phoenix to the Four Corners in Teec Nos Pos will give families a chance to read books written and illustrated by Indigenous peoples during check-ups and well-child visits.

The books are written in six different Native languages and are intended to help combat the effects of adverse childhood experiences — or ACEs — potentially traumatic events ranging from physical and emotional abuse to neglect and household violence.

The rate of ACEs among American Indians and Alaska Natives is higher than any other demographic.

Gabriel Pietrorazio is a correspondent who reports on tribal natural resources for KJZZ.