Thursday, July 14, 2016

NICU Book Delivery

Between books I've been finding, and books my friend/neighbor, Michelle brings over, we are keeping books flowing to the teeny tiny babies of McKay-Dee Hospital's NICU.

For newcomers, I started this project as a way to honor the lives of a set of twins that I lost many years ago. My daughter, Angie, is a NICU nurse. As a reading teacher, I found that several of my reading students were NICU patients. I also found that kids who were read to as infants had stronger attention spans than those who were not read to. Each baby gets five books, and there is an insert inside letting parents know the benefits of reading to their babies from day one.

This was going to be a one time project - drop off 25 packets of 5 books for each baby and call it good, but we are finding that the parents really appreciate being able to read to their babies in the NICU. Babies need to hear their parents' voices, and tired parents need something to be there for them to read. When you enter the world of the NICU, you don't think about bringing books. You are just trying to get through each day.

So of course, now that I've started this project, I can't bear to end it. We give five books to each baby because you can't create a reader with one book unless it is the right book, and the right book varies for each person. That being said, if I could afford to buy all new books without finding sales, I would include the following five books in each packet:

Yes, I know that list has six books, but it is really hard to choose only five.

Here are pictures of some of the books Michelle brought over:
 Jamberry is so much fun to read, and every baby should have a copy of Love You Forever.
She brought over seventeen more books, but I forgot to take a picture of them before I packaged them up for the babies.

Here are some board books that Angie and I found:
 Otis is such a fun series, and Sandra Boyington knows how to write for babies.

Another selection of books ready to go to the NICU:

Notice that Mem Fox book - Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes? This is why I have so many pictures books in my house; I simply can not only pick five, ten, or even twenty (1,000), but as the book grandma, I have to have a lot of books at my house.

Here we all, all packed up and ready for the hospital. It makes my book nerd soul happy to see these tiniest of babies getting a good start on their reading journeys.

If you'd like to contribute to our book drive for NICU babies, here is how you can help:

1. You can order books for your own children (of all ages) from our online Usborne book party and the proceeds will go to purchase books for the NICU. I've received over $350.00 in free books for the NICU from people buying books for their own families through this web link. Usborne is really good to their hostesses, and they have great board books for babies. Click on the link: Usborne book sale to benefit NICU The books you order will be shipped directly to your home. You can then give them to your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews. The free books from the hostess benefits go to the NICU. Remember to get summer reading books for your family. 

2. We have set up a baby registry at with many books listed for the NICU babies. Some of these books only cost $2.50. Many of these are classics that all children should have. Click on this link if you'd like to help provide books for the NICU: Catherine Crosby Building Lifelong Readers Book Registry. If you order books for us, they will be shipped to me, and I will package and send them to the NICU. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you.

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