Dr. Faustino Bernadett is a Book Buddy
Giving back to the community has always been a priority to Dr. Faustino Bernadett. So is literacy. That’s why together, Dr. Faustino Bernadett and his wife Martha Molina Bernadett, founded The Molina Foundation in 2004. She is the President and CEO, and he is Vice President and Treasurer, both taking charge of this national nonprofit organization aimed at reducing disparities in access to education and health.
The Molina Foundation has done a lot in a short time, working with more than 2,500 organizations and schools, donating more than 5.5 million books, as well as hosting workshops and programs for educators and families. Fueled by help from community-based organizations, The Molina Foundation partners with preschool programs, clinics, churches, schools, family service organizations, and civic organizations that serve low-income and at-risk families.
Book Buddies Program: Instilling a Love of Learning
One of the programs to come out of the foundation is the very popular Book Buddies program. One of the goals of the foundation is to instill a love of learning in children through books. Book Buddies distributes new books to community agencies serving underprivileged children and families to create word-rich and healthy homes.
Dr. Bernadett and his foundation realize that children from low-income families often grow up in “word deserts,” meaning they have very few books in their classrooms and even fewer at home. Without regular access to reading materials, it’s tough for children and families to navigate the education and health care systems. They can quickly give up, get lost and never reach the level they should be at.
Book Buddies is The Molina Foundation’s signature program, designed to distribute new books to community agencies serving children and families in need. It has partnered with organizations to distribute more than four million books in an effort to foster word-rich and healthy homes.
Other Child-Focused Services
Book Buddies isn’t the only program for children sponsored by The Molina Foundation. It hosts workshops for preschoolers, kindergarteners and first graders, all over the country, plus offering these additional programs:
WordUp: The Molina Foundation empowers children and families to instill strong health and literacy skills by using simple activities and tips to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
On My Way to Kindergarten: This is a collection of hands-on resources for children between the ages of three and five to prepare for kindergarten – valuable resources that were developed with input from kindergarten teachers across the nation.
As you can see, The Molina Foundation is dedicated to helping children get the help they need to thrive.
Join the Network
To access the Book Buddies program, schools and eligible programs can Join Our Network. Groups in this network are the first to learn about opportunities to apply for books and other resources, which are announced via email. The foundation works hard every day to find resources such as books and educational resources to share.
There are many ways you can donate. Studies have shown that as many as 60 percent of children from low-income families start kindergarten not being able to identify letters, sounds, colors, and numbers. Research also shows that hearing conversations and stories read aloud plays a significant role in preparing children for future success. To that end, The Molina
Foundation helps provide new books and educational resources for children and families in need.
In its nearly 16 years in operation, The Molina Foundation has ensured a new generation of students will have access to the books they need within programs and schools serving low-income and at-risk families. Many work with immigrant and limited English proficient families. It stands to reason that Faustino Bernadett would be fueled by a passion to help people in need, as his own father ran a successful medical practice as the only Spanish-speaking family doctor in Chico, California.