The Renaissance (MI) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated recently partnered with the DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital and United Way of Southeastern Michigan to create a Children’s Book Nook in the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Waiting Room. The Book Nook, designed for the hospital’s youngest visitors, is intended to enhance early literacy. Literacy development begins at birth and through this service project by newest members Tonya Allen, Brooke Blackwell-Burch, Alexis Dishman and Kishna Tarver, the chapter is helping to increase the positive interactions between babies, siblings and parents, and enhancing the critical role that literacy brings to a child’s life. New chapter members decided to focus on promoting early literacy to young children birth to five-years-old. The mission of the project is to create opportunities for families to have access to literature, allowing young children to read or take home donated books to enjoy.
In working with the management and nursing staff at DMC Harper-Hutzel, the new space quickly took on a life of its own. Excitement about the designated space began to grow as walls were painted, shelves were hung, furniture moved in, and books and magazines arrived in boxes. But, as the enthusiasm grew for the staff and the Book Nook partners; those who were most eager were the children watching in anticipation. As the space was being assembled, the Book Nook was visited by a little girl who so desperately wanted a book and also by a grandmother who wanted a book to take home to her granddaughter. Naturally, chapter members offered them the book of their choosing; this is after all part of our mission.
The joint partnership and creation of this Book Nook has blossomed into something tremendous that touches so many lives. In just over a month since the Book Nook has been established at DMC Harper-Hutzel Hospital there have been over 150 children’s books and dozens of children’s magazines that have been given to some of the youngest readers in our community. Our partnership will continue to keep the bookshelves stocked so that future visitors can reap the rewards of reading.
By: Brooke Blackwell-Burch