Addison County Readers, Inc. launched Project Books at Birth (BaB) in 2011 as a collaborative effort between ACR and the nursing staff at the Birthing Center in Porter Medical Center, in Middlebury, Vermont.
In Project Books At Birth, a gift bag from ACR that includes a letter of welcome, one free children’s book, and a registration brochure for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is offered to each family before they leave the hospital. Approximately 25 gift bags are given out each month. Funding for the project comes from the Walter Cerf Community Fund.
The gift bag book, Clare Beaton’s Animal Rhymes, has a simple but charming text and pictures that appeal to both infant and parent. ACR conceived of this project as a means of 1) making contact with parents of newborns from all parts of the county; 2) encouraging parents to read to their infants; and 3) enrolling very young children in the Imagination Library. If children are enrolled at birth, they will have a total of 60 books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library by the time they complete the program on their fifth birthday.
Current enrollment figures point to the project’s success: three times the number of infants are registering for the Imagination Library than before Books At Birth began in 2011. BaB has also spurred an increase in the overall number of children participating in the Imagination Library from 789 in May 2011 to 1,100 in December 2020.
To read more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, click here.
If you lost your newborn’s registration form, click here to enroll, or pick up a brochure at one of many Addison County locations, including your local library.