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A New Delivery for Southland Maternity Units

Tuesday 12 February 2008

A New Delivery for Southland Maternity Units
It's not just babies being delivered in Southland wide maternity units, but books too, courtesy of a locally sponsored "Books for Babies" programme.
The programme is the brain child of the Southland Council of the New Zealand Reading Association (SC-NZRA), and sees every baby born across the Southland/Wakatipu region being given a children's book to encourage the early introduction of reading to babies. 
"It is never too early to start reading to children and through this programme we aim to help parents introduce books to their baby and begin to foster a love for reading," said Daphne Lindsay, SC-NZRA Co-President.
The Books for Babies programme originally began in 1998 and had been running every second year only, as sponsorship could be found to fund the project, and as the voluntary association could manage it in between their other activities. 
Mrs Lindsay said that it cost around $12,000 to run the project each year, distributing 1800 books across the region to all maternity facilities and to midwives delivering home births.
"This year's programme has been made possible thanks to sponsorship by the Invercargill Licensing Trust, Mataura Licensing Trust, Community Trust of Southland and New Zealand Alumnium Smelters Limited. Scholastic New Zealand has been another key sponsor, having sourced the books for us and providing them at cost price."
"We are absolutely delighted to announce that, for the first time, we will be running the programme over two consecutive years, with the Community Trust of Southland having recently confirmed their commitment to fund the entire project for 2009," Mrs Lindsay said.
Maternity units and midwives around the region have now been stocked up with copies of this year's book "My Little Miracle", which is understood to be an exclusive release for the Southland programme and not available elsewhere in New Zealand.
SDHB Associate Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Jenny Humphries, said that the programme was proving popular with birthing mothers at Southland Hospital, who receive the book almost immediately after birth together with information explaining how to read to a baby and recommended book titles.
"Certainly mothers in Southland Hospital's birthing facility have been thrilled to receive such a practical and beautiful gift for their baby, as they start a new chapter in their own lives," Ms Humphries said.


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