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Atrium Middletown Auxiliary Participates in Literacy Program

Middletown, Ohio, July 23, 2008 – Newborns of Atrium Medical Center’s Maternal Child Health Center now receive their first step into literacy thanks to a grant matching program called Literary for a Lifetime. Atrium’s Auxiliary, together with Usborne Books (a leading publisher for educational books for children), has donated a grant of $4,794 toward 600 new books for mothers and their newborns of the hospital’s Maternal Child Health Center.
The Maternal Child Health Center serves uninsured and Medicaid patients by providing pediatric, prenatal and gynecological care.

During their stay in Atrium’s Family Birth Center, new mothers who are patients of the Maternal Child Health Center are presented a “touchy feely” board book, ideal for babies’ first explorations with books. These books incorporate different textures on each page of the book, as well as simple, bold shapes and short, repetitive text for the parent to read to the child.

Babies are born with extra sensitive fingertips and those fingertips are directly linked to their developing brain. In infants, thousands of new brain connections are being made every second. When babies are given different textures to touch and feel, it actually hardwires the connections.

According to Usborne Books, research shows that reading out loud to children is one of the most important ways parents can improve their children’s attention spans and build
pre-literacy skills. Reading to children provides the same benefits as talking to children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond, to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity and inspire. Reading out loud also:

  • Conditions the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
  • Creates background knowledge
  • Builds vocabulary
  • Provides a reading role model

The Auxiliary donated $3,196 to purchase 400 books. Usborne Books matched that donation with an additional 200 books (retail value $1,598) at no cost.