In coming months, 1,000 babies born at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital will receive the hardback book “Read To Your Bunny” by Rosemary Wells, thanks to a partnership between the hospital, Mobile County Public Schools and its Board of School Commissioners.
Board member Dr. Bill Foster told a crowd gathered in the hospital lobby Tuesday that had the idea to give parents a book as they go home with their new babies. It would be a great addition, he said, to the diapers and other items they take with them. By just reading to a baby a few minutes a day, parents can bond with their children and start a lifetime of learning.
Superintendent Martha Peek added that she hopes these books are well-loved and well-worn by the moms and dads and babies over the years.
“This is an opportunity for us to initiate good habits in families in the very beginning,” said Chris Jett, administrator of USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, “before they even leave the hospital.”
Forty percent of Mobile County’s babies are born at USA Children’s & Women’s.
The Books for Babies project was developed through a partnership between Mobile County Public Schools and USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital. The books will be distributed by nurses from the hospital’s mother/baby unit when babies are born.
“This is another way we are partnering with the community,” said Don Stringfellow, president of the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners. “There’s more to education than starting on the first day of school in kindergarten or Pre-K.”
As author Rosemary Wells wrote in a note in the book, parents should “make a quiet, restful place for twenty minutes. Put your child in your lap and read a book aloud. In the pages of the book you will find a tiny vacation of privacy and intense love. It costs nothing but twenty minutes and a library card.”