Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation (ERHF) would like to thank Mutual of Enumclaw and Target who dedicated a combined total of $3,000 from charitable funds to support the Books for Babies program. Books for Babies is a partnership with the Enumclaw School District to foster reading and nurturing an infant.
Each year, more than 300 babies are born at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw. It is our belief that all children in our society should be literate. We believe that the road to literacy begins as soon as a child is born. And those who are read to daily from birth are more likely to be fluent, lifelong readers.
Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation teams with the Enumclaw School District to present special "Baby Packets" to the new moms and dads of children born at St. Elizabeth Hospital.
The Books for Babies package includes a classic children's book, discount coupons for the future purchase of children's books, a Top 10 booklist, and a library card application -- all wrapped up in a diaper. Recent book selections have included "Polar Bear, Polar Bear," "The Runaway Bunny," "Guess How Much I Love You?", "Moo, Moo, Peekaboo!", and currently, "Goodnight Moon."
Since November 1999, Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation has dedicated more than $12,000 to the Books for Babies Program. St. Elizabeth Hospital is well-known as "the" place to have a baby in the area. Parents from Enumclaw, Black Diamond, Buckley, Bonney Lake, Auburn and as far away as Federal Way and the Snoqualmie area have been known to come to St. Elizabeth's for its Family Birth Center. By providing every baby born at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, regardless of where they live, with a book bundle we reach beyond our community to spread the gift and joy of reading.
Enumclaw School District Superintendent Mike Nelson was part of the team that started the program and says early exposure to reading is always a benefit to little ones. There is a noted change in the community's attitude toward reading and children are arriving at preschool and kindergarten with a love for books and reading. He said parents talk about the Books for Babies program at the school district's kindergarten round-up as the first book their child received.
During the past 30 years, ERHF has raised more than $4 million to support healthcare services and programs for all residents in the foothills communities of Enumclaw, Buckley, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake and the smaller nearby communities of northeast Pierce County and southeast King County.