A new initiative is providing a book to every baby born at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, Madison Hospital.
An estimated 5,400 babies will receive a book over the next year thanks to a new local program funded through Huntsville Hospital Foundation. The Foundation has teamed up with the Junior League of Huntsville, the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, and The Snail on the Wall bookstore to launch BIRTHday Books. The purpose of this collaboration is to promote literacy and developmental growth for children in the hospitals’ service area.
Through the BIRTHday Books program, each baby born at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children (HHW&C) and Madison Hospital, plus babies transferred to the HHW&C Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, will receive:
- The “Goodnight Moon” board book;
- A reusable BIRTHday Books tote bag;
- Best practices and library card application information from Huntsville-Madison County Public Library;
- An infant toothbrush and oral health magnet; and
- A handwritten birthday card from an area high school student or community partner.
“I am so excited for this program because I believe it will enhance parent-child bonding, introduce the baby to imagination and fun, establish a relationship with the family and their community library, and will be a nice parting gift for a new family,” said Renee Colquitt, CRNP, NNP-BC, Madison Hospital lead coordinator of Obstetrics Services. “For some, this may be the only book the child receives until school age.”
The most recent National Assessment of Adult Literacy by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 10 percent of the population in Madison County lacks basic prose literacy skills. By putting a book into the hands of every family, the Foundation believes that statistic will decrease.
“Reading aloud to your infant has proven health and developmental benefits,” said Foundation President Candy Burnett. “We hope the BIRTHday Books program will encourage a love of learning from an early age. Huntsville Hospital Foundation is proud to work alongside our philanthropic partners to provide this resource for thousands of North Alabama families.”
New moms will receive the BIRTHday Books bag at discharge from the Huntsville and Madison Hospital Mother/Baby units, and upon admission to the Neonatal ICU. Each bag will be stuffed and hand delivered monthly by Junior League provisional members.
This initiative is dependent on generous donations from our community. <Link to BIRTHday Books page> Learn how you can support the BIRTHday Books program.
About Huntsville Hospital Foundation
Huntsville Hospital Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in 1978 as the fundraising arm of Huntsville and Madison Hospitals. It works to strengthen relationships between the hospitals and the community. The Foundation accepts gifts—both individual and corporate—on the hospitals’ behalf and works to fund present and future equipment and program needs. For more information, call (256)265-8077