Patricia Clark Submitted photo

Patricia Clark of Readfield has been recognized as the 2022 Maine Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc.

Clark is director of early childhood studies and lecturer of mental health and human services and education at the University of Maine at Augusta.

She will join 49 other mothers in representing their states at the annual American Mothers, Inc. conference in April where the national winner will be recognized, according to a news release from the university.

For her platform, Clark has chosen early childhood literacy and “closing the million word gap” among children entering kindergarten. According to a recent Ohio State study, young children whose parents frequently read to them could enter kindergarten having heard an estimated 1.4 million more words than children who were rarely or never read to.

“In our current world where televisions, iPads and phones are everywhere, we sometimes forget the benefits and bonding of carving out just 20 minutes a day to read to our children,” Clark stated.

A former president of the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children, Clark has two daughters and two grandchildren. She is active in her church, St. Andrew’s in Winthrop, and a member of various boards, including Readfield Community Library, Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, UMA Senior College, and Southern Kennebec Child Development Center.

Mothers were chosen after a national nomination and selection process led by the nonprofit organization. Clark is the 61st Maine mother chosen since the program began 87 years ago. Its mission is to recognize mothers’ positive impact in their families and communities. The women come from diverse backgrounds and experiences across the nation.

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