LOUISVILLE , Ky. (March 29, 2007) - Studies have shown that reading to children is beneficial in many ways, and there is no age too young to start. When parents read to their children from an early age, it can create a bonding experience, as well as help children learn. According to Metro United Way Success By 6®, reading also provides a nurturing experience that is important for language, social and emotional development while at the same time, fostering early brain development.
These are reasons the Norton Healthcare Foundation and Norton Women's Pavilion have teamed up with Borders®, Metro United Way Success By 6 and Every 1 Reads to begin the "Birth-Day Books" program.
Starting in mid-April, every baby born at the Norton Women's Pavilion Birthing Center at Norton Hospital or Norton Suburban Hospital will receive the book, "On the Day You Were Born." Success By 6 will also provide literature on reading and nurturing children.
"Experts say that children are constantly learning, even right from birth," John Harryman, president of Norton Suburban Hospital, said. "They say parents should talk, sing, read and play with their baby right from the start. The Birth-Day Book program will stimulate that interaction."
"The implications of what we can do with this program are huge," said Lynnie Meyer, R.N., M.S.N., chief development officer and executive director of the Norton Healthcare Foundation. "We are encouraging parents to get involved early in their child's life to build a strong foundation for future learning. This program is about nurturing the whole person, even when they are not under our care."
Parents receiving the books will also have the option to purchase a book in honor of someone they care about. Donations to the Norton Healthcare Foundation are also being accepted to support this porgram.
"I'm very pleased that our foundation was able to develop this innovative program to encourage parents to start thinking about literacy and development even before they leave the hospital with their baby" Harryman said. "By introducing books to babies, parents are giving them a jump start on learning, as well as promoting a lifelong love of books."
To help fund this initiative, all Borders book stores in Louisville will offered a 10 percent off coupon to shoppers for March 30-31 via the Norton Healthcare Foundation. Shoppers saved 10 percent with this coupon, and 10 percent of sales went to the new Birth-Day Books program at Norton Hospital and Norton Suburban Hospital.
Photo at right: During the official March 31 launch of the Birth-Day Books program at the 4th Street LIVE Borders store, Kristine Rogers read "On the Day You Were Born" to her son, Kevin Rogers II. The book will be given to all babies born at Norton and Norton Suburban hospitals starting in mid-April.