North Lincolnshire Children’s Literacy Trust is fundraising to provide important resources to families whose new-born babies spend time in the Scunthorpe Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
As part of the scheme, parents whose babies are being cared for will be given fantastic literacy packs, including a copy of the award-winning book ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, song booklets, audio downloads and gift bags. Education officers from North Lincolnshire Council will provide staff and train volunteers to help parents make the most of their packs.
The innovative project aims to highlight the importance of communicating and reading with babies. Studies show that sharing stories and rhymes with babies from an early age stimulates brain development while helping families to bond.
The resources will help families like the Taylors, whose daughter Erin was delivered prematurely, at 28 weeks. Erin’s mother Katie reflected on the positive impact of reading. She said:
“Whilst Erin was in NICU we frequently read her the story ‘Guess How Much I Love You’. We found reading was a fantastic way to talk to Erin so she could bond and build relationships with us as well as start to recognise our voices. Her older sister Morgan really enjoyed sharing the story with her whilst we spent a significant time on NICU”.
The scheme, which is underpinned by the latest research, has already been piloted to great effect in Bradford and Middlesbrough.
Councillor David Rose, cabinet member for Children, Families and Learning at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Parents play a vital role, not only in supporting their baby’s development, but also in creating a passion for lifelong reading. These literacy resources will help them to develop feelings of intimacy, whilst supporting the language skills of their baby.
“This worthwhile project has captured many hearts and on behalf of the Trust I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many organisations who have worked with us and continue to generously support our efforts.
“I’m looking forward to seeing this excellent initiative make a big difference to the lives of some of North Lincolnshire’s youngest residents”.
To pilot the scheme for a year will cost £3,000 and will see up to 600 babies on the NICU given the book packs.
Any fundraising or donations for the Children’s Literacy Trust will be gratefully received. For more information please contact Ailsa Leggott, Early Years Development Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01724 296652.