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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

What’s in a Book Babies Box?

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

April 6, 2023


Book Harvest was quick to adapt during the pandemic and consistently provided books and literacy support to the hundreds of Book Babies families enrolled in the program. One of our adaptations — mailing books and resources directly to homes — has stuck, even as the pandemic has waned and our program has grown.


Our previous method of book delivery was solely by hand and part of the home visits our Literacy Coaches conducted with each family. We realized that by shipping books and resources in advance of the quarterly visits (which can be held online or in person), the families can become comfortable with the materials on their own if they choose. It also allows for more flexibility with the visits and increased personalization of the coaching sessions. Furthermore, it provides an additional level of excitement…the books come in beautiful (reusable) boxes that bring joy just by looking at them!


Siobhan Powers, the AmeriCorps member who assists Book Babies with the production and shipment of these boxes, walks you through what goes in a typical box in the video below (and here). You can also watch Leilanni, a Book Baby, open her box alongside her mom.



 

Book Harvest’s Book Babies program provides families of Medicaid-eligible children with resources, skills, and support to optimize their child’s early language and literacy skills. Beginning when a baby is born, Book Babies partners with parents and provides quarterly literacy coaching home visits, a total of 100+ age-appropriate and language-appropriate books, and a host of additional supports through Pre-K and kindergarten enrollment, including a college or career savings account and connections to other parents.


Book Babies uses a unique evidence-based curriculum that has been shown to enhance early childhood language development and foster parent engagement. Over the course of five years starting at birth, families enrolled in Book Babies receive individualized, literacy coaching sessions throughout each year, age appropriate children’s books (in English and Spanish), and a custom-made bookshelf to hold the books. When a child reaches two-and-a-half, families receive literacy kits that further the development of dialogic reading, phonemic awareness, and emergent writing. Book Babies families also receive a $500 child savings account, parent networking opportunities, a graduation celebration upon completion of the program, and more.


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