Let’s Read a Book Today Shared Reading for NICU Babies


The Let’s Read a Book Today Shared Reading for NICU Babies project is designed to inform and educate parents and caregivers of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients about the importance of reading to and with infants and children.


The program, a collaboration between Emory University, Grady Hospital, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library Foundation, and Sandra Dunagan Deal Center for Early Language and Literacy. The goal of this year was to reach 75% of families at Grady NICU (375 of 500 families). A training video for families (English and Spanish) was produced for education and recruitment.


Program enhancement and promotional materials were produced. Three parent/caregiver focus groups of those who participated in NICU program (3-4) month post-discharge to model baby story time activities and gather feedback about program influences in reading were conducted. Preliminary results from the research study to evaluate the effects of shared reading during NICU stays on maternal stress has produced strong indicators of success. For this reason, the Deal Center is making preparations to take the program to scale.