A recent patient at the Labor and Delivery unit at the San Luis Valley Health’s Regional Medical Center was delighted to receive a brand new baby book and was overheard to say, “Oh, That’s wonderful!  My baby’s first book!”  Recently, several members of the Family Community Education club delivered boxes of new baby books to the Women’s Center at SLV Health.  Interim Director of OB, Morgan Elsworth, commented, “The patients really enjoy receiving the books.  A lot of times they encourage their other young children to start reading to the baby right away. They are simple enough for most young children to read and they can start engaging with the baby.” The book project was started more than 20 years ago when Debbie VanTreese-Selin was District Director of the FCE.  It was her brainchild and it has been going strong ever since.  “We as FCE (Family Community Education) members believe that reading helps a child establish a viable future,” commented member Margaret Sanderson. Club members hold fundraisers year round such as selling decks of cards with scenic Colorado photos on them taken by members of the club (and their family members), homemade pie auctions and much more.  The funds help them continue their “Raise a Reader” project where they give every baby born at the San Luis Valley Health RMC a book to encourage reading early on.  Research shows that “reading aloud is the single most important thing one can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning, yet only 48 percent of young children in the US are read to each day.” (www.readaloud.org).  Kaylin, an OB nurse, commented, “Other children enjoy the books as well.  It makes them feel more included and not forgotten during the childbirth experience. We are extremely grateful to the women for donating books to the new baby’s family.”

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