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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

New effort aims to boost literacy

The Daily Reflector, Dec 28, 2023

A childhood literacy program will begin providing books to families of babies born at Maynard’s Children’s Hospital thanks in part to a $500,000 appropriation from state government, ECU Health announced last week.

Books from Birth will begin providing books at the hospital books starting in spring 2024, the announcement said. The program is offered through the Durham-based nonprofit Book Harvest, which provides ongoing literacy support and an abundance of children’s books to families.

Organizers said the partnership with Maynard Children’s Hospital will provide families and children with the support and books they need to foster early language and reading routines at home from a baby’s very first days.

“The Books from Birth program is really designed to bridge early education and health,” said Book Harvest Chief Operating Officer Jeff Quinn. “Early literacy lays a foundation for life-long learning and healthy development. This program is meant to give children the opportunity to be what they want to be in life. We could not be more proud to help serve Pitt County and eastern North Carolina through this collaboration.”

N.C. House Rep. Tim Reeder of Pitt County’s District 9, secured funding of $500,000 for the project in the state Budget, the hospital said. It was presented in the form of a ceremonial check to the ECU Health Foundation on Thursday.

In his remarks, Rep. Reeder, an emergency physician at ECU Health, thanked Book Harvest and ECU Health for their willingness to partner. Reeder underlined the importance that early literacy has on the development of children as they grow and on the importance of improving access to education in eastern North Carolina.



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