Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:00a.m.
St. Louis, MO–Every baby born in St. Louis County will now receive a St. Louis County Library card thanks to the Born to Read program. Born to Read provides new parents at area hospitals with a bag containing a book, a toy, information about infant development and a library card. Parents also receive an invitation to celebrate their child’s first birthday at the library where they will receive another free book. Support from the Cardinals Care, Aetna and Great Southern Bank has allowed SLCL to expand the program to include 17 area hospitals and clinics.
Participating hospitals include: St. Anthony’s Medical Center, SSM DePaul Health Center, St. Clare Health Center, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, SSM St. Mary’s Health Center, St. Luke’s and Mercy clinics.
Library Director Kristen Sorth said, “Studies show that when children start behind, they stay behind. The goal of Born to Read is to foster a love of reading starting at birth and to emphasize the importance of reading to children of even the youngest age.”
Children who are exposed to language and reading at an early age have a better chance of succeeding in school and beyond. Born to Read gives children a head start on developing crucial literacy skills, while introducing parents to the wealth of resources available at their local library.
The Born to Read program was launched in 2015 with support from the St. Louis County Library Foundation. Over 15,000 families are expected to receive a Born to Read bag in 2016.
SLCL offers a variety of tools for parents to engage their young children in learning, including kindergarten readiness programs, story time, and Family Literacy Involvement Program (FLIP) kits. More info about early literacy resources at SLCL can be found at www.slcl.org/early-literacy.
To learn more about Born to Read please contact Jennifer McBride, Communications Manager, at 314-994-3300.