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Story Time

UHS helps parents share the joy of reading with “Baby’s First Book” program

Reading to your children has a profound effect on their brain development, no matter how young. While you might think that an infant isn’t able to get much out of being read to, that isn’t actually the case. When you read to your baby, you introduce them to the concept of communication, whether they understand what you’re saying or not.

Studies have shown that 85 percent of brain development happens in the first few years of a child’s life. Early exposure to reading and communication lays the groundwork for your baby’s future communication abilities.

Because it’s never too early to start reading to your child, UHS has partnered with the Literacy Legacy Project of Broome County to provide every baby born in Broome County with a book. This program, called “Baby’s First Book,” was developed by Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, in partnership with the Children’s Reading Connection, SUNY Broome’s Center for Civic Engagement, Staples, the Susquehanna River Region of 2-1-1, Lourdes Ascension and UHS.

The first book to be featured is Baby Cakes, a picture book written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Sam Williams that encourages interaction and learning through repetition of fun and simple phrases.

Giving this gift to every family that gives birth at UHS—and Broome County at large—helps start the conversation about reading, and it helps parents give their babies a head start. While there is no shortage of devices that can keep infants and young children busy, nothing can take the place of the connection you make with your children when you read to them.


All babies born in Broome County will receive their “first book” courtesy of the Literacy Legacy Project. Learn more about the “Baby’s First Book” program.