Southampton Hospital has partnered with several local organizations to re-launch its Books for Babies program, just in time for National Literacy Month in September. Thanks to assistance from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, BookHampton, Children’s Museum of the East End, Southampton Teachers Association, and Penguin Random House, parents who give birth at Southampton Hospital’s Kathleen D. Allen Maternity Center will be gifted with a tote bag bursting with books (available in English and Spanish) and a list of East End libraries.
“The Books for Babies program allows Southampton Hospital to serve families beyond the healthcare setting,” explained Stacey Brosnan, CNM, MS, Maternity Center Nurse Manager. “We are helping them get a head start on their child’s development, which is so critical in the first years.”
Throughout October and November, Southampton Hospital will be releasing a series of public service announcements via social media to promote the importance of reading to young children and to attract community backing for the Books for Babies program. The campaign will end on #GivingTuesday (Tuesday, December 1st), with the goal of having collected $5,000 to offset the price of the 1,000 Books for Babies bags that will be given out in 2016.
“Reading with your young child fosters curiosity and exploration, which are key components to early childhood learning and development,” noted Alexandra Halitsky, MD, FAAP, Southampton Hospital’s Chair of Pediatrics.
Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important indicator of high school graduation and career success, yet according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), two-thirds of U.S. third-graders lack proficient reading abilities. The study also notes that children who are read to during infancy and preschool years have a tendency to cultivate better language skills when they start school and are more fascinated by reading.
To support the Books for Babies program, call 631-726-8700, ext. 5 or visit southamptonhospital.org.