BOOKS FOR TEXAS BABIES is the new name of the literacy program originally developed as BOOKS FOR DALLAS BABIES by Trish Holland, program founder and local Dallas children’s author, Kate Park, Executive Director of the Friends of the Dallas Public Library, and Jasmine Africawala, Community Engagement Manager at the Dallas Public Library. The new title reflects the aims of the program to expand to other cities and counties in Texas. Kick-off date for BOOKS FOR TARRANT COUNTY BABIES is set for January 1, 2017.
BOOKS FOR DALLAS BABIES is a program established through the Dallas Public Library and the Friends of the Dallas Public Library in partnership with Parkland Health and Hospital Services. The program provides one bi-lingual picture book to every baby born at Parkland Hospital while mother and baby are still on the maternity ward. Tips for reading and talking to babies are included in each book, as is information on how to use the Dallas Public Library system. Before discharge, a nurse or child life specialist meets with the new mother to present the book and discuss the importance of reading to babies and young children. The goal of the program is to increase pre-literacy skills in the children of Dallas by promoting reading and talking to infants and toddlers from birth. Adequate pre-literacy skills are necessary for a child to become successful at reading later in school. In addition, reading to infants enhances mother child bonding during “lap time” reading and encourages a life long love of books.