The Carthage Family Literacy Council changed directions this year and decided to promote reading early on. Beginning in May every baby born at Mercy Hospital Carthage will receive a Mother Goose book and a bag of items to encourage parents to read to their young children. The bags contain promotional items including a bib embroidered with “Read to Me”. Staff at the Literacy Council say that research shows reading aloud is the single most important thing parents can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning.
In addition to the project for Mercy Hospital Carthage, the Literacy Council is coordinating with Parents As Teachers to provide a book for every four-year-old child in the city through the “OneBook4Carthage” program. The council also provides scholarships and a Salvation Army backpack program.
Babies born at Mercy Hospital Carthage receive a handmade blanket from a volunteer group as well as a crocheted hat, soap and lotion set and formula samples.