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Friday, July 12, 2013

Griffin Hospital in Derby adopts Books for Babies program

DERBY - Each of the approximately 700 babies born annually at The Childbirth Center at Griffin Hospital now goes home with a new children’s book, thanks to a partnership between the hospital and the nonprofit organization Read to Grow.
Griffin Hospital recently became one of 12 Connecticut hospitals to adopt Read to Grow’s Books for Babies program. 
Statewide, Books for Babies reaches 53 percent of Connecticut newborns and their parents each year.
Parents of newborns also receive a literacy guide as part of this joint effort to foster children’s language and early literacy development, and to encourage reading aloud to babies from birth.
Recent research suggests that children should be exposed to a language-rich environment from birth, because it can significantly improve cognitive and language development and readiness for school.
A trained volunteer visits with parents to introduce the Read to Grow program and talk about the “how and why” of reading aloud to babies. 
The volunteers go through the literacy packet and encourage families to register for Books for Babies Follow Up, which will provide them with another new book and literacy information on their child’s three-month and 12-month birthdays.
Gently used books are also available for siblings of newborns to promote family reading time.
“We’re happy to partner with Read To Grow and help nurture a love for reading in the families in our community,” said Luanne Miller, director of the Childbirth Center.
"Read to Grow also provides gently used books to children across the state through its Books for Kids program.  Last year Books for Kids delivered more than 127,000 books into the hands of young children. “
Studies show that in low-income neighborhoods, children often have few if any books,” said Chet Brodnicki, interim executive director of Read to Grow. 
“The Valley Council reports that 10 percent of children residing in the Lower Naugatuck Valley live in poverty. Read to Grow is a resource for these families.”

Read to Grow
Read to Grow (www.readtogrow.org) works to improve early literacy for all Connecticut children. It is the only statewide nonprofit organization that connects with parents in the hospital setting and prepares them to take an active role in their child’s literacy development by reading aloud from birth. Read to Grow also provides free children’s books to families and to programs in communities that serve children of all ages.
Read to Grow’s programs currently reach 53 percent of the state's new babies and their parents, and distribute more than 147,000 children’s books across Connecticut.

About The Childbirth Center at Griffin Hospital
The Childbirth Center at Griffin Hospital offers family-centered maternity care in an environment that will best meet individual and family needs. The Childbirth Center follows the patient-centered Planetree philosophy that focuses providing a warm, caring atmosphere for the patient and loved ones, including childbirth and child care education, and support groups.
For more information, call 203.732.7252 or visit www.griffinhealth.org/childbirthcenter.

This is a press release from Griffin Hospital.

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