Meet the Raising Reader Advisors

Combining the expertise of our clinical advisors with our early literacy advisor allows us to enhance provider messages about reading and brain development with specific messages parents can use to the early literacy skills of their children. We’re pleased to introduce the team to you here.



Gabe CivielloMeet Gabe Civiello, MD, our clinical advisor from the Farmington area. Dr. Civiello has been working as a general pediatrician at Franklin Health Pediatrics in Farmington since 2013. He completed his medical training at Dartmouth Medical School and then did residency and a chief resident year at Maine Medical Center.  He is also involved with Tufts Medical School as the Farmington site director for their rural 3rd year program. “Maine is truly fortunate to have the Raising Readers program and I feel fortunate to be involved. I have participated from helping to select books on the selection committee and giving them to children in my exam rooms.”


Dr. Colette SabbaghMeet Colette Sabbagh, MD, our clinical advisor from the Bangor area. Dr. Sabbagh has worked in Bangor with EMMC Pediatric Primary Care since 1999. She completed her medical training in Chicago at University of Illinois College of Medicine and residency at Loyola University and splits her time between working part time for EMMC Pediatric Primary Care and volunteering via board participation with the Make a Wish Foundation, Maine Chapter, the Maine Discovery Museum and the Bangor Ballet. Dr. Sabbagh lives with her husband and two girls in Brewer. “I’ve been involved with Raising Readers since its inception in 2000, serving on the Advisory Committee and the Book Selection Committee. This program has been invaluable to the children of Maine.”



Brian_YeathMeet Brian Youth, MD, our clinical advisor from the Portland area. Dr. Youth has been the Residency Program Director for Pediatrics at Maine Medical Center (MMC) since 2004, and has been the Medical Director of the Newborn Nursery at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at MMC for the last 10 years. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine (MMC campus), attends on the newborn teaching service at MMC and is a general pediatric practice at Maine Medical Partners – Pediatrics in Westbrook. Dr. Youth completed medical school at the Dartmouth-Brown Program in Medicine, his Pediatrics Internship, Residency, and Chief Residency at the Univ. of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics in 1996. “Raising Readers is an amazing program. I’ve been involved on the book selection committee for about eight years now and it’s so rewarding to be part of such a diverse group of reviewers.”



Susan_Bennett-ArmisteadMeet Susan Bennett-Armistead, PhD, our early literacy advisor. Dr. Bennett-Armistead is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at the University of Maine. She completed her doctorate in Teacher Education, Curriculum and Policy at Michigan State University with an emphasis in early literacy, while serving as the the Program Supervisor of the MSU’s Child Development Laboratories. Prior to doctoral study, she was a preschool teacher and administrator for 14 years. Dr. Bennett-Armistead speaks internationally on literacy development in young children as well as on the role that families can play in that development and is the co-author of several published books. Dr. Bennett-Armistead lives in Bangor with her husband and four children. “I am delighted to work with Raising Readers! One of the things that drew me to Maine was the variety of strong initiatives that have made such a difference to the literacy levels in Maine in such a short amount of time.”


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