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AUNTYs Donates Books to Pediatric Social Work Program
Child Saving Institute’s (CSI) AUNTYs group recently provided 450 copies of the book “I Love You Like Sunshine” to the agency’s Pediatric Social Work program (PEDS). The PEDS program promotes screening and early identification of risk factors in children 0-5 years of age and mothers and caregivers of children 0-12 months of age.
The book, by Mariana Glusman, blends a baby book with a parenting guide. When meeting with clients during well-check appointments, CSI’s pediatric social workers present them with a copy of the book. The book introduces both the mom/caregiver and baby to the importance of reading, helps strengthen attachment, aids appropriate social emotional development,
Providing books and other parenting tools is especially important for the children CSI serves, many of whom live in poverty. AUNTYs provided 270 copies in English and 180 copies in Spanish, reflecting the diverse populations the PEDS program serves.
“These books provide a perfect opportunity for our pediatric social workers to engage mothers and caregivers in a conversation about the benefits of reading to a child, no matter if it’s a newborn or a 5-year-old,” said Jana Habrock, PEDS program director. Statistics show that children who live in poverty have a 3 million word gap by age 5 as compared to children from middle and upper income homes, which affects school readiness and has lifelong consequences.
In 2017, the PEDS program expanded from three to five low-income clinics and screened 2,853 mothers and children during well-check appointments — mothers/caregivers with children between the ages of newborn and 5 for depression and their children for appropriate attachment, social/emotional growth, and development. When a potential for problems exists, pediatric social workers help connect the families with the professionals and resources they need, whether in-home services for help with parenting, counseling, an exercise program, a food bank, or other need.
The AUNTYs group comprises philanthropic women, who provide funding for unbudgeted “extras” and special purchases such as this. To learn more about the AUNTYs or to join, please contact Andrea L. Richardson, chief development director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.504.3660.