Alton Memorial Hospital is expanding its partnership with Books for Newborns, a nonprofit organization that provides book bags to low-income new mothers and children at no cost. AMH is now using other books for older children undergoing therapy in its Human Motion Institute. In late October, Books for Newborns delivered its 10,000th book bag, and it went to a therapy patient at AMH.
Ella Curry, an 11-year old receiving outpatient therapy, was the lucky girl. To mark the occasion, Ella also received an autographed copy of local author Ed Wheatley’s beautifully illustrated “Incredible Cardinals” children’s book and an Usborne Books & More mini-reading library.
Books for Newborns, which has been delivering book bags to mothers of newborns at Alton Memorial through a program funded by Ameren Illinois since June, just expanded its services to reach the more than 40 children the hospital provides care to on an outpatient basis each month. This expansion and similar programs aimed at older children across the region have been made possible through books donated by fellow literacy organizations Ready Readers and Missouri Humanities.
“Our partnership with the Books for Newborns organization has been a great complement to our local reading initiatives with the Alton School District as well as the effort by BJC HealthCare to provide a book each summer to all second graders in the St. Louis Metropolitan area,” said Rusty Ingram, AMH director of Business Development. “The book bags have been such a hit with parents of newborns, and we are thrilled to be able to expand the program to include children who come for therapy. The ability to succeed really begins with the ability to read.”
“Despite the pandemic, 2020 has been a year of tremendous growth,” said Mike Hogan, chairman of Books for Newborns. “In just seven months of actual operations we’ve delivered more book bags than in all of 2019. We are pleased to have added Alton Memorial to our delivery partners network. We’re stronger than ever because we are stronger together.”
For further information about Books for Newborns, please contact Mike Hogan at 314-496-0227 or [email protected], or visit its Facebook page.
Pictured above: Joellen Corona, a speech therapist at Alton Memorial Hospital, helps 11-year-old Ella Curry of Alton read some of the books from the 10,000th book bag donated by Books for Newborns, which was delivered recently to AMH. Books for Newborns got its start donating books to new mothers, but is also now donating books for older children undergoing therapy.