United Way, hospital promoting literacy from birth

United Way, hospital promoting literacy from birth
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Children born at Wooster Community Hospital, including newborn Ronan Lewis, will be automatically enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through a program made possible through a partnership between the hospital and the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties in which children enrolled at birth will receive one free book a month until they turn 5. With Ronan are his father Ethan Lewis, left, mother Drianna Lewis and WCH nurse Vickie Heath.

                        

Beginning in March, children born at Wooster Community Hospital will be automatically enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program made possible locally because of United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties.

Children enrolled at birth will receive one free book a month until they turn 5. This means they will go to kindergarten with a personal library of at least 60 books. Babies born at Wooster Community Hospital who also live in Holmes or Wayne counties will be sent home with their very first book, “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper. The books they will receive are age appropriate, timeless and trendy — all handpicked and approved by Dolly Parton herself.

“Literacy is one vital key to future success,” said Katie Koglman, executive director at United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties. “By partnering with Wooster Community Hospital, we are ensuring a child is enrolled and enjoying the beauty of reading as soon as possible.”

“Women’s Pavilion is honored to partner with the United Way of Wayne and Holmes County by enrolling newborns into the Dolly Parton Imagination Library,” said Tara Raudebaugh, director of perinatal services at the hospital. “Reading to children is a blessing.”

“We are really excited to have the opportunity to bring this program to the families that deliver with us,” said Nicole Sword, lactation program coordinator at WCH. “The Women's Pavilion is prepared to enroll new babies because it’s never too soon to start reading to your child.”

Presently, nearly 3,500 children in Holmes and Wayne counties are enrolled in the program. Enrollment can be done online at www.imaginationlibrary.com or by calling United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties at 330-263-6363.

Babies born at WCH who live in a surrounding county also will be enrolled in the program but will receive their first book in the mail after registration is completed.

“We used to live in a county that did this program, and my daughter loved getting books in the mail. It was her special mail, and she loved to open it," said Drianna Lewis, whose son Ronan recently was born at WCH and received a book. "We feel this is a really cool opportunity for children in Wayne and Holmes counties to be able to be a part of this program."

This program is funded by United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, Orrville Area United Way, The Dollywood Foundation, and with a temporary 50% cost share from the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. If you would like to sponsor a child in this program, text FREEBOOKS to 44-321.


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