MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Methodist South Hospital has started a new pilot program. They’re partnering with Urban Child Institute and Read 901 to provide a backpack full of early reading materials to every new baby’s family. Local 24 News Weeknight Anchor Katina Rankin has this local good news.
‘Welcome Bluff City Baby‘ Royalty Hawkins. When we met little Royalty she was just two-days-old, and doing what babies do – sleeping.
But at just two-days-old, Royalty has already beenintroduced to books thanks to “Bluff City Baby.”
“With babies it’s just exposing them to thepositivity of books and the excitement of new adventures that you can findinside a book and really the bonding with the parent,” says Katherine Bryan, UrbanChild Institution Program Officer.
It’s part of Urban Child Institute’s TTRP program.
That stands for Touch…
“That time touching and sitting on a lap andreally feeling safe and loved and comforted,” says Bryan.
“The baby says ooh, and you say ooh are youtalking to me.”
“Exposing children from the very beginning to thefun of books and the positive things that can come out of taking a book in yourhands and sharing some time with them.”
“Play – it just stimulates the brain,” says Bryan.
As part of the program, new moms get a backpack filledwith a ‘Read to Me’ onesie, ‘Bluff City Baby’ bib, diapers, books, and a censusform to log baby’s new existence.
“I like the books,” says Tiffany Hawkins, Royalty’sMother.
And while it will be years before baby Royalty beginsto read independently, her mom says she started engaging in brain developmentactivities even before she was born.
“I was reading to her and singing to her whileshe was in my belly,” says Hawkins.
Urban Child Institute officials agree. Reading laysthe foundation for a baby’s future language skills and healthy social emotionaldevelopment.
The hope is to expand this program to other birthing centersin the city.