Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Urban Child Institute Introduce Babies to Books through Pilot Program at Methodist South Hospital

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare recently launched Welcome Bluff City Baby, a pilot program designed to encourage reading and literacy interaction from birth.

Tiffany Hawkins holds her newborn, Royalty, as nurse Kelsey Jones explains Welcome Bluff City Baby, a pilot program in partnership with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Urban Child Institute and Read901 that gives backpacks filled with early reading developmental materials to the families of babies born at Methodist South Hospital.

In partnership with Urban Child Institute and Read901, as part of the Welcome Bluff City Baby pilot program, Methodist South Hospital will give every newborn baby's family a backpack filled with early developmental reading materials and information on the importance of nurturing TTRP – Touch, Talk, Read and Play in early childhood – which is part of the Welcome Bluff City Baby pilot program. The hope is that Urban Child can replicate this program at other birthing centers across the city.

"Literacy unlocks our potential as a community," said Jessie Tucker, president of Methodist South Hospital. "By serving as the pilot location for Welcome Bluff City Baby, we are giving every newborn and their family an immediate collection of early reading materials to propel a life-long love of learning."

In addition to books, the backpack also contains a 'Read to Me' onesie, 'Bluff City Baby' bib and a census form to log baby's new existence.

"Reading to babies every day lays the foundation for a baby's future language skills and healthy social-emotional development," said Katherine Bryan, Urban Child Institute Program Officer. "Sharing a book with your baby is a powerful parenting tool. It creates a positive association with reading, exposes baby to language, encourages imagination and nurtures a loving bond with the parent."

According to Urban Child, 13,000 babies are born in Memphis every year. In Shelby County, more than 26,000 children under the age of five live in households with incomes under the Federal Poverty Level, which may limit access to books and other early literacy-promoting materials. 

Since the program launched, over 50 babies have been born at Methodist South Hospital and have received a Bluff City Baby backpack.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit urbanchildinstitute.org/projects. A $30 donation covers the cost of one early literacy backpack but any amount can be donated.

Photo attached: Tiffany Hawkins holds her newborn, Royalty, as nurse Kelsey Jones explains Welcome Bluff City Baby, a pilot program in partnership with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Urban Child Institute and Read901 that give backpacks filled with early reading developmental materials to the families of babies born at Methodist South Hospital.

About Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) has been caring for patients and families regardless of ability to pay for more than 100 years. Guided by roots in the United Methodist Church and founded in 1918 to help meet the growing need for quality healthcare in the greater Memphis area, MLH has grown from one hospital into a comprehensive healthcare system with 13,000 Associates supporting six hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient facilities, hospice residence and physician practices serving communities across the Mid-South. From transplants and advanced heart procedures to expert neurology services and compassionate cancer care, MLH offers clinical expertise with a focus on improving every life we touch.

Visit us at methodisthealth.org and connect with us at facebook.com/methodisthealth, twitter.com/MethodistHlth or on Instagram at methodisthealth.

Cision

View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/methodist-le-bonheur-healthcare-urban-child-institute-introduce-babies-to-books-through-pilot-program-at-methodist-south-hospital-301009407.html

SOURCE Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare