Seeing a need to enhance the bond between babies in the Intensive Care Nursery and their parents, neonatologist Colleen Rose developed the Books for Babies Program at a Springfield, MO hospital. The Intensive Care Nursery at Boone Hospital Center has adopted the participatory reading program that began at BHC in November '98 with the assistance of Tim O'Connor and Kelly Hersey, neonatologists on staff at Boone.
Within the first few days of admission to ICN, parents are asked to choose a book for their infant. The book is personalized with the child's name, footprints and the name of the baby's nurse. Parents (and siblings) are encouraged to read to their baby whenever they visit the nursery and the book is kept at baby's bedside. Of course, the book goes home with baby upon leaving the hospital. Benefits of the program for the parents and child include:
- Enhancing the child's growth and development
- Bonding the parents to the child
- Relieving parental anxiety
- Promoting literacy among families
If you or someone you know would like to help enrich the life of a child by giving the gift of reading, you can earmark a check to be used for the Books for Babies program. Send donations to:
Books for Babies
Intensive Care Nursery
Boone Hospital Center
1600 E. Broadway
Columbia MO 65201
For additional information, phone 573.815.3611.