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Published on July 07, 2022

Lincoln City Libraries and Area Hospitals to Provide Free Board Book to Newborns

Lincoln City Libraries, CHI Health St. Elizabeth and Bryan Health announced the start of a new three-year program, Books for Babies, in which all babies born at Lincoln area hospitals will receive a free, developmentally appropriate board book.

Along with the book, caregivers will receive an informational pamphlet about the importance of reading aloud to their baby. Starting reading at birth will foster strong caregiver bonds and a lifelong love of reading.

Books for Babies was an idea inspired by Ellie Hiser, a sophomore at Lincoln East High School. She developed a love for this project at a young age because of her passion for reading and desire to help others. Ellie learned some children don’t have books in their homes when her mother volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Iowa. It was through this work that Ellie learned how great the need was for kids to have access to books and reading.

Last summer, she reached out to Bryan Health to make her vision a reality. The idea was embraced by organizations throughout the community and will now impact countless families. Funding for this program was made possible through a Community Health Endowment grant, donations from Bryan Health and CHI Health St. Elizabeth and private contributions. For more information on the program, visit lincolnlibraries.org/kids/books-for-babies/.

A joint press conference was held on Thursday, July 7 at 10 a.m. at Eiseley Branch Library with:

  • Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
  • Alysia Bousquet, Lincoln City Libraries
  • Dr. Marilyn Moore, vice president, Community Health Endowment
  • Dr. Jason Kruger, chief medical officer, CHI Health St. Elizabeth
  • Alexa Lewis, director, women and children’s services, Bryan Health
  • Ellie Hiser, student, Lincoln East High School

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