New effort to boost literacy in Prince George’s Co.

In an effort to get books into the hands of the earliest learners, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System has teamed up with the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center to mail young kids free books.

Families who give birth at the hospital can immediately enroll their newborn child in the library system’s Books from Birth program. For a limited time, there will be an extra incentive, too — parents will receive a baby bundle tote as a thank-you. The totes include early literacy resources, library information, a board book, rattle and finger puppet.

The Books from Birth program sends enrollees a free book by mail every month until they turn 5, with the goal of bolstering basic reading skills from a young age so kids are well prepared for kindergarten.

To date, more than 23,700 children in Prince George’s County have received free books by mail to help jump start their home library.

“The staff of PGCMLS are thrilled to be able to work with the UMD Capital Region Health Center to reach new families with our Books from Birth program,” Pam Hamlin, a family literacy specialist at the library system. “We hope that the materials inside of the Baby Bundle totes will encourage parents in their role as their child’s first and best teacher.”

Families will be given the opportunity to register before leaving the hospital, or can sign up and find more information about the program online.

The program started in July 2017, with support from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the county government.

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