Arlington Heights IL.
Kenneth E. Korber, the published author of The Musical Adventures of Grace children’s book series, is expanding his literary footprint and has begun the unique and innovative process of combining three distinct disciplines between the covers of his storybooks…
Reading Skills – Music Vocabulary – Health Promotion
"I was looking for a way to bridge my 20+ clinical and writing background into a second career", he initially reported during a 2018 Chicago Innovations Award ceremony. "I was medically and surgically trained, and worked as a Physician Assistant, to care for my patients and to empower them about health promotion and disease prevention. However, as medical practice and the health care delivery system have evolved without an infrastructure to support spending more than 10 minutes with each patient, I saw an unmet need."
So, Korber turned the patient equation around – making the education element the focus of an extended clinical encounter (e.g., bedtime reading), for a population that would benefit the most – young children.
The 2019 launch of Grace + Friends: Burn Prevention and Fire Safety book, at the CE|CME podium of the American Burn Association’s conference began the process.
This new triple-threat title went on to become a Drexel University People of Purpose award winner (https://drexel.edu/cnhp/about/people-of-purpose/) and is in its expanded, 2nd edition printing at Eckhartz Press, now.
“He gives newly-minted little health ambassadors the ability to engage with storybook characters and learn how to become and remain healthier adults” commented a local Chicago radio host.
"Each storybook reader (or listener) can pick up a book in the clinician’s waiting area and learn about common topics in primary care practice -- the importance of burn prevention & fire safety in the home, benefits of regular tooth-brushing, eating less salt in their diets, cutting back on sugar intake, and even realizing it’s OK to be different", he says. Grace + Friends: Burn Prevention and Fire Safety Activity Book, Grace’s Big Smiles Plan, Melody's Favorite “MIND” Recipes, and Laugh | Laugh with Larry the Giraffe, are some published examples where reading skills are reinforced, music vocabulary is introduced at an earlier age, and health promotion messages are given directly to the emerging reader.
Music educators are using the books as tools within their early childhood development music immersion curriculum, pediatric caregivers use the stories to reinforce anticipatory guidance discussions, and new parents appreciate the ability to introduce Grace & Crew, as new diverse characters telling new stories; a perfect opportunity for 3 to 6-year-olds embarking on their new reading journey.
"I've been fortunate to work with brilliant illustrators and the occasional co-author, who bring my words to life for these young readers and their families. Now, we can guide the adults and reinforce key health messages from our office, or clinic, or during a hospital visit -- with the younger person being engaged at the same time."
Korber has more plans to create, circulate, and communicate newly-published titles and subjects; and at the same time continuing to improve the health of children, families, and their communities.
"We have laid the groundwork for more stories & new characters, through the Musical Adventures™ anchor, and I will continue to share my writing efforts with like-minded authors and sponsors. A “hot topic” on this year’s list is working to translate the English books into other languages. This will stretch our tiny impact to a global readership, in the future."
"Since the retirement dollars only go so far, I'm hoping to get grant support through my non-profit division, (Center for Functional Learning Ltd) to create some multimedia learning platforms, too. At the very least, we will try to contribute to the next generation of global readers.”
You can learn more about the storybooks and read Ken's Health & Music blog at the https://centerforfunctionallearning.com