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‘Born to Read’ Literacy Program Reaches New Milestone

One thousand newborns given a bundle of books

The Born to Read literacy program has reached a new milestone.  One thousand newborns at Hurley Medical Center have received a bundle of books and developmental materials. On Friday, Dec. 7, baby Melody, the daughter of Joy McGee and Delon McGowan, received the one-thousandth Born to Read bundle.

The Born to Read bundle is a canvas bag containing at least two children’s books, developmental materials, and helps parents sign-up for Early On and the Imagination Library if they qualify and are interested.

Under the banner of ‘Flint Kids Read,’ the greater Flint community is working to expand early literacy efforts in Flint, with the goal of providing 100 percent of children in Flint with access to age-appropriate books at home and optimal kindergarten readiness.

“It’s never too early to read, talk, and sing to kids. Books are brain food, and they help kids grow up to be smart,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, MSU associate professor of pediatrics and founder and director of Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.

“What a wonderful milestone,” said Sherrie Deans, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Foundation. “On behalf of our players, we are proud to join with Hurley Medical Center and other partners in this essential work to support the healthy development of Flint kids and their families. Congratulations to everyone involved in this program – especially all of the new moms and their kids, she said.

Born to Read is a partnership between Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative (PPHI) and Genesee Intermediate School District’s (GISD) Early On program, with support from the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA). Other Flint Kids Read literacy programs include the clinic-based Reach Out and Read program and Imagination Library, the monthly home delivery of books. Penguin Random House, the publisher of Dr. Mona’s book “What the Eye’s Don’t See,” has also donated 5,000 children’s book to Flint Kids Read efforts.

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