Babies score their first books

Tom, baby Samuel and Erin Ford were delighted to receive the books at Westmead Hospital.

Babies in Westmead Hospital and Blacktown hospitals have received their first books, thanks to a literacy awareness campaign.

Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA) and the Little Readers Read-A-Thon handed out the free books to give kids a reading start to life.

Westmead Hospital’s Women’s and Newborn Health operations manager Donna Garland said the ALEA has visited Westmead Hospital to distribute books to new parents for the past four years.

“It’s great that we are encouraging parents to read to their babies and children,” Donna said.

“We know critical brain development is occurring during a baby’s time in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Katie and Sam Dwyer reading to their three day old twins Max and Thomas who were born at 32 weeks.

“Pre-term babies can recognise their mother’s voice, and reading to babies benefits them from early infancy including a vocabulary boost noticeable at four years old.”

ALEA Sydney West co-president Kathy Ferrari hopes to continue visiting western Sydney hospitals to provide books for families.

“This year ALEA also visited Blacktown Hospital for the first time,” Kathy said.

“All the parents were delighted to receive the resources.”

The neonatal intensive care unit at Westmead Hospital welcomes donations of new books which can be left at the reception desk on Level 3 above the main entrance.

For further information about ALEA click here.