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News and Featured Stories from St. Vincent's Medical Center
Published: 02/26/2012

Books for Babies

St. Vincent's Medical Center Family Birthing Center Read to GrowAt St. Vincent’s, babies are not only well cared for but are also well read! As part of Read to Grow’s (RTG) Books for Babies program, every new mother in the Family Birthing Center gets a packet with one book, a reading guide and a returnable card. When the baby is three months old and again at one year, the family will receive another new book and more guidance.

St. Vincent’s is one of 11 Connecticut hospitals to have welcomed the non-profit group and its mission of making free books available to all children. Books are also provided to the siblings of newborns.

“This program is a big hit among new parents as they can get their child started early on the road to being a good reader,” said FBC Nurse Manager Melissa Melendez, RN. “It also provides another opportunity for moms and dads to bond with their baby.”

New volunteers are trained on the FBC by Priscilla Russo, a RTG staff member. Promoting early literacy for all Connecticut children, RTG is the only statewide organization that helps parents take an active role in their child’s literacy development beginning at birth. RTG provides free new and gently used books for Connecticut children in need from birth through middle school age, and to programs that serve children. They also serve as a good resource for questions on language development and how to encourage children to become enthusiastic readers.

Books are requested by application. The organization accepts new and used books as well as monetary donations, and will offer guidance in running a book drive.

For more information on Read To Grow and the Books for Babies program, or to become a volunteer, please visit

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