March 02, 2023
Part of Fourth Annual NICU Read-a-Thon
Houston, TX – Today, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in partnership with the March of Dimes Family Support Program, celebrated American author Dr. Seuss’ birthday as part of its fourth annual neonatal ICU (NICU) Read-a-Thon. The Read-a-Thon coincides with Read Across America Day on March 2, which was established by the National Education Association in 1998 to help get children excited about reading.
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas NICU Read-a-Thon helps to promote the importance of early literacy and allows families to further connect and bond with their babies in the NICU. This is especially important for babies in the Advanced NICU who aren’t yet able to be held.
Running from February 28 – March 3, families and NICU colleagues are encouraged to read books to NICU babies throughout the week. At the start of the week, each family received a Dr. Seuss folder, bag, book, chart to track reading progress and a list of dress-up days. The family and NICU colleague who reads the most books will receive a grand prize. Every family will receive a small prize at the end of the week.
Outside of this week’s events, every family receives a book upon admission to The Woman’s Hospital of Texas NICU which is provided by the March of Dimes Family Support Program coordinators. They also offer a mobile book cart that allows NICU families to get new books to read to their babies during their stay.
Benefits of reading to babies include the introduction of language skills, bonding, emotional learning, establishing routines and future school success.
Special guest readers were also invited to participate in the Read-a-Thon including hospital leaders, NICU physicians and managers.
(L-R) Brandi Clark and Runo Egi, March of Dimes NICU Family Support Program coordinators at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas prepare to take the mobile book cart to parents reading to their NICU babies during the NICU Read-a-Thon.
(L-R) Jeannie and Samuel Huynh of Pearland, Texas stop by the mobile book cart for a new book to read to their son who is a current NICU patient at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.
Charles Roitsch, MD, a neonatologist at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas makes a stop during his rounds to read to baby Princess-Fiji and her mom Keira Jones of Houston on Read Across America Day on March 2, 2023.
Ready to win the Read-a-thon, Kia Jenkins of Houston reads one of her favorite Dr. Seuss books Green Eggs and Ham to her daughter Kinsleigh at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas.
“I am so pleased to be a part of this special initiative for our NICU babies and their families,” says Jeanna Bamburg, CEO of The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, who took time to read to six-week-old girl Kaeli Sepulveda. “I constantly read to both of my children and I know how beneficial reading is for babies, even at a few weeks old. I’m glad The Woman’s Hospital of Texas and the March of Dimes continue to work together for the betterment of all children and their families.”