Tuesday 9 July 2019

Why Reading to Our Littlest Babies Matters

Reading to your baby, especially when you aren’t able to touch them, not only lets them know you are there, it forms a bond that helps to fight the postnatal depression and PTSD experienced by parents of premature babies and babies in intensive and special care. I know. I was in that position, three times. I read to each of the boys when I wasn’t allowed to cuddle them and it made a huge difference.
That’s why I’m so blown away at being asked to the the Ambassador of the very first Life's Little Treasures Foundation Little Readers Readathon, as a Mum and an author. Best of all, Tommy gets to help, too!

Why reading matters…
Even the tiniest babies need frequent exposure to spoken language to ensure optimal early brain development.
During a baby’s time in the Neonatal Unit critical brain development is occurring, including the development of the pathways in the brain that control language skills. By reading to their babies, parents are not only bonding with them and reducing some of the stress associated with being in the NICU, they are also supporting their baby’s brain development.
Babies need frequent exposure to meaningful auditory experiences to ensure optimal early brain development. Research has identified a number of benefits of reading from early infancy, with a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills with a boost in vocabulary at four years of age.

Little Readers read-a-thon

Who can participate?
This year NIDCAP in partnership with The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is promoting participation in the Little Readers Read-a-thon. Any neonatal unit (NICU/SCN) in Australia can participate in the Little Readers Read-a-thon. Units need to register to officially participate in the Read-a-thon in order to be eligible for prizes and to provide access to resources.
How to register
It’s easy, just fill in the online form below and we’ll do the rest
What do you get when you register for the read-a-thon?
Once registered for the Little Readers Read-a-thon units will receive a great toolkit which includes everything you’ll need, electronic resources (factsheets, promotion posters, participation certificates, log sheets, survey tools) printed resources (bookmarks, reading booklets).
Registrants will also have the opportunity to win some great prizes for highest total number of books read and highest total numbers of reading minutes! …so let’s get reading!
What can you do to prepare for the Little Readers Read-a-thon?
Consider how you can promote the event to parents and staff and what resources you have available to you. If you do not have an existing reading library in your unit consider how you could start one – can you ask for donations from local businesses or supporters?
Can your school library or local council library provide you with decommissioned books?
Downloadable Resources

Our Read-a-thon Ambassador

Michelle & Tom Worthington
Michelle Worthington is an internationally published award-winning author of empowering picture books for children of all ages.
“My goal is to inspire all children to believe in themselves and encourage reluctant readers to fall in love with books.” 
Michelle is also an international guest speaker on the importance of storytelling. Her books have been nominated for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award and Speech Pathology Awards. She was awarded a highly commended in the prestigious 2018 Hilarie Lindsay Children’s Book Awards. Two-time winner of the International Book Award and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, Michelle also received a Gellett Burgess Award and a Silver Moonbeam Award for her contribution to celebrating diversity in children’s literature.

She’s also a real-life book fairy. Her magic powers include turning coffee into award-winning books. As Founder of Share Your Story Australia, she waves her wand to coach aspiring authors and illustrators all over the world achieve their dreams of publication. Whether she’s a fairy, a mermaid, a pirate or an elf, Michelle celebrates empowering readers and storytellers to dream big.

Register Now