Thanks to a generous grant from the Carnahan-Jackson Foundation, employees from the James Prendergast Library recently presented staff in Maternity at WCA Hospital with the first installment of their "First Books" literacy kits. In total, 700 of these kits will be distributed by WCA to the families of newborns.
These literacy kits are modeled on materials for "Born to Read, It's Never Too Early to Start," a national American Library Association program. They consist of a tote bag featuring the library's logo, board book, bookmark, library brochure, early literacy pamphlet, and "Baby's First Library Card" announcement.
"We believed that by partnering with WCA Hospital, we have the perfect opportunity to encourage emergent literacy," says Annie Greene, head of Family Literacy at the James Prendergast Library. "What better way to reach new families than through our community hospital's Maternity Unit. We are grateful that we can work together with WCA to encourage new parents to use the Prendergast Library.
Staff members from the James Prendergast Library and WCA Hospital Maternity Unit show off the “First Books” Literacy Kits (made possible by a grant from the Carnahan-Jackson Foundation) and handmade newborn caps (created by Leann Austin) that will be distributed to all newborns. Pictured, from left, are: Tamara McIntyre, Prendergast Family Literacy librarian; Kristin Conroe, RN, WCA Maternity nurse; Angel Kerney, M.D., OB/GYN WCA Hospitalist; Annie Greene, Prendergast head of Family Literacy; and Tina Scott, Prendergast Library director.
"Our goal is to get children and their parents in the library early to encourage reading readiness before the child enters school."