COLLEGE STATION, Texas — When a child is born in the Brazos Valley, it is not long after, that the parents will receive a baby bundle. Inside the tote is the child’s first book, developmental resources for the parents and so much more.
“Little ways make a huge impact," said Kassi Horner, the Director of Philanthropy in College Station for Baylor Scott and White: Central Texas Foundation. "Whether it’s a book or whether its $5, you can really impact somebody's life in ways that you don’t even know.”
The baby bundle is provided to hospitals, like Baylor Scott and White Medical - College Station and CHI St. Joseph Health, in the area by United Way of the Brazos Valley. It is designed to get kids hooked on reading as soon as possible.
United Way believes early literacy is critical for children.
“The earlier that they start reading, the earlier that they’re learning the letters or sounds and being read to, the better they will do," said Alison Prince, the president and CEO of United Way of the Brazos Valley. "All research shows that literacy leads to success in education.”
Through it's Early Literacy program, United Way is able to ensure that every child has access to reading no matter the socioeconomic status.
“2/3rds of kids growing up in poverty grow up in homes without books and that was not good enough for us," Prince said. "We wanted to do something about that and that’s why we provide books to kids.”
Baylor Scott and White Medical - College Station are supportive of the initiative. It's philanthropy, Baylor Scott and White: Central Texas Foundation, partner with United Way to provide the bundles.
“We want to make sure that every child has a book that they can read and a toy that they can snuggle with at night when they’re sleeping," Horner said.
These books serve as a reminder to parents to start reading to their children as early as possible.
"If we can start everyone off on a really great track, we can hopefully change their trajectory of life," Prince said.
You can help fund United Way's Early Literacy program, like the Baby Bundles or the upcoming Jingle Book Bash. The Jingle Book Bash free book giveaway is on Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at the Post Oak Mall in College Station from 10am - 3pm.
You can also help donate to the Baylor Scott and White: Central Texas Foundation for College Station and support programs such as Stop the Bleed. It is a White House initiative which empowers bystanders to act quickly and help save lives before professional first response personnel arrive on the scene of an emergency.
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