The Watson Clinic Foundation recently helped donate 336 copies of Lakeland author Jennifer Hazen Buss’s children book “The Knot Monster” to the ReadingPals program, an initiative from the United Way that promotes literacy among school-aged children.

“The Knot Monster” tells the story of Ellie, a young girl who hates having her hair brushed by her mother every morning because it is tangled by knots. The knots are made by the Knot Monster, who loves the smell of Ellie’s shampoo so much that he dances in her hair each night.

This donation is a special occasion for the Foundation as the book’s author is a mammography technician at the Watson Clinic Women’s Center.

The author of this delightful book is one of Watson Clinic’s own,” said Watson Clinic Managing Partner Steven Achinger, MD, FASN and Chairman of the Board for the Watson Clinic Foundation. “Jennifer works every day to improve the lives of her patients.  And now, as an author, she’s working to enlighten and empower younger generations.”

The Foundation’s donation is in addition to 100 copies that were provided by Buss herself, a combined contribution that ensures each member of the 436-member program receives their own copy of the book.

“When we enable a child to read at maximum proficiency, we empower them to live their best life. Self-empowered children become more invested and motivated adults,” said Dr. Achinger. “Enhanced literacy is connected to a person’s listening skills, comprehension, vocabulary and memory.  All of these attributes have significant ties to healthcare, whether it’s the ability to understand and follow a doctor’s care recommendations, adherence to a medication regimen, or the propensity to practice self-care.”

Spearheaded by the United Way of Central Florida, the ReadingPal program promotes childhood literacy by matching volunteers with area school children for one hour a week.  During that time, the adult guides the child through a concentrated “reading time.” With the assistance of classroom teachers and trainers, the mentor touches upon each core competency required by the Polk County School Board curriculum.

For more information on the Watson Clinic Foundation and their essential work within the community, call 863-904-2656 or visit online at www.WatsonClinic.com/WCF.


Founded in 1960, the mission of the Watson Clinic Foundation is to promote community wellness through education, research, and service. The Foundation works tirelessly to help various organizations deliver healthcare to the community and nurture the latest and most exciting developments in research, and they’ve long conducted education outreach efforts, such as annual health summits, various lecture events and their acclaimed Speaker’s Bureau series. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.WatsonClinic.com/wcf.

About United Way of Central Florida

A philanthropic leader locally and regionally, United Way of Central Florida works to improve lives and strengthen our communities.  They focus in the areas of education, income and health because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life and to bring people and organizations together from all across the community. United Way of Central Florida leads and works collectively on solutions to our most pressing community needs. To learn more visit www.UWCF.org.