Partnership delivers books to babies monthly
Ferst Readers of Nassau County, Baptist Medical Center Nassau and Rotary Club of Amelia Sunrise teamed up to give babies a head start with a new partnership that allows babies to start receiving free books in the mail immediately after birth.
Each year, hundreds of babies are born at Baptist Medical Center Nassau and for the past four years, Ferst Readers of Nassau County has promoted the importance of early literacy in children from birth to age 5 by mailing books and literacy resources monthly to hundreds of registered children.
However, what kind of effect could be made if the babies born at BMCN were registered before they went home? Current research shows 85 percent of a child’s brain is developed by the age of 3. A child can receive up to 60 books if registered for the Ferst Readers program at birth. Imagine the impact of a child having 60 books in their home library and hundreds of opportunities to be read to before ever entering school.
Earlier this year, representatives from Ferst Readers and the hospital agreed to partner together to register the babies born at the hospital. Hospital President Ed Hubel pledged the hospital as the sponsor of the books for the first 100 babies born at the Nassau location.
Ferst Readers of Nassau County’s plan is to obtain monthly sponsors for the 30-50 babies born monthly at BMCN. When the Rotary Club of Amelia Sunrise heard about the partnership, they agreed to sponsor at least one month of babies born at BMCN. One of Rotary’s main causes is to support education and literacy. Members tutor fourth-graders through their Early Act Club. They look forward to helping children receive books and literacy materials to help them build school readiness skills before entering kindergarten.
If you know a local child under age 5 who is not receiving books, go online to www.ferstreaders.org to register. Registration forms are also available at all Nassau library branches.
To volunteer with Ferst Readers’ Community Action Team, contact Michelle Maddox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals or businesses who would like to sponsor children to receive books may visit www.ferstreaders.org and select Nassau County or mail a donation to Ferst Readers of Nassau County, P.O. Box 2, Hilliard, FL 32046. All funds raised locally stay in Nassau.