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AHN Teams Up with Pampers to Promote Early Childhood Literacy Through “Pampers Bright Beginnings” Reading Initiative
PITTSBURGH – Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced today it will team up with the nationally-recognized diaper brand, Pampers, to promote early childhood literacy with a philanthropic reading program. The “Pampers Bright Beginnings Reading Initiative,” will be coming to AHN to provide families with books and educational resources designed to showcase the benefits of reading to babies from birth.
According to a recent study published in Science Daily from researchers at Ohio State University reading to babies under three is proven to impact core brain development through the exposure to words. Reading to baby for just a few minutes a day can make a significant difference in the early development and can positively impact kindergarten readiness.
“Four million children under the age of three have not been read to in their lifetime and we want to change that,” said Sarah Pasquinucci, Senior Communications Director, P&G North America Baby Care and mother of two. “We’re confident this program, and the partnerships that make it possible, will help every baby experience the benefits of being read to from birth and inspire a love for reading later in life. We remain committed to caring for the health and happiness of every baby to give them a bright beginning.”
This summer, AHN received nearly 10,000 Scholastic children’s books and educational materials from Pampers for later distribution to the health system’s labor and delivery programs across the region. The books were selected in partnership with Scholastic and are geared to children younger than three years old. Featured books in the program include “The Wheels on the Bus,” “Read to Your Bunny,” “Goodnight Sweetie” and “Babyfaces: Splash!” which were all selected for their story themes, vibrant illustrations, diverse representation of characters and bilingual options.
“We’re beyond grateful to Pampers for selecting our growing labor and delivery program as one of its first partners to launch the program nationwide. Their mission to support families and newborns from the start closely aligns with our comprehensive patient care approach,” said Marcia Klein-Patel, MD, PhD Chair of AHN Women’s Institute. “To that end, we’re always exploring thoughtful opportunities to better position our families for success, and the clinical community continues to identify the value of early reading in childhood development and furthermore, the critical role providers can play in classroom readiness.”
A team of clinicians and researchers from the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati recently published study findings in Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics focused primarily on kindergarten readiness (KR) (defined as a child’s ability to adapt to a new learning environment) based on the level of engagement with certain book programs.
In “A Combined Reach Out and Read and Imagination Library Program on Kindergarten Readiness,” (doi.org/10.1542/peds.2020-027581), researchers analyzed a total of 797 kindergarteners who were enrolled in two reading programs – Reach Out and Read and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – and were under the age of five against a random sample of 1,580 of their peers. Over the course of the study, the reading program cohort improved the school district’s KR by 15.4% with incremental improvement year over year. Pediatrician wellness visits were main points of book distribution and education on the benefits of early reading in childhood development.
“Pediatric and primary care offices are uniquely positioned to influence the literacy development trajectory of children long before they enter the classroom, and we should absolutely make every effort to contribute to our patients’ long-term success, both clinically and holistically,” said Howard Topol, MD, AHN pediatrician. “We’re current participants in the Reach Out and Read program, and with the introduction of Pampers Bright Beginnings, we’re able to reach families with the power of children’s books at even an earlier age. We’re thrilled to team up with Pampers for such an outstanding initiative that has seen lasting, proven benefits.”
The AHN Pediatric Institute has offices throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and the network has labor and delivery programs at Jefferson, West Penn, Saint Vincent and Forbes hospitals with Wexford hospital opening its unit this fall. Hospitals will offer families one book prior to discharge, and families also have the option to join Pampers’ loyalty program for discounted rates on products.
The Pampers Bright Beginnings books are currently only available through partner organizations. Most notably, Pampers partnered with more than 65 March of Dimes NICU Family Support Programs across the country, and maintains regional partnerships in several states including Texas, Michigan, Florida and Ohio.
“We’re beyond excited to work with Pampers on its impactful, heart-warming initiative which promotes early childhood development and just as importantly, ignites a passion for reading at an early age,” said Allie Quick, AHN chief philanthropy officer. “AHN was initially identified as an ideal partner because of our diligent work throughout our communities to remove barriers and improve access to resources that improve the health of those we serve. We’re proud to help this national organization reach even more families and look forward to touching the lives of so many with delightful books to take home.”
For more information on the AHN Women’s Institute, visit ahn.org.
About Pampers Bright Beginnings
At Pampers, caring for babies is more than just our purpose, it’s in our DNA. We believe a baby’s earliest days are essential toward shaping a bright beginning, and are committed to supporting their happy, healthy development right from the start. Through the Pampers Bright Beginnings program, we serve babies and their families by removing barriers that hinder early success and development, and enhancing access to resources, tools and support. For more information on the Pampers Bright Beginnings program, visit Pampers.com.
For more than 50 years, parents have trusted Pampers to care for their babies. Pampers is a part of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) and is the #1-selling diaper worldwide. Every day, more than 25 million babies in 100 countries around the world wear Pampers. Pampers offers a complete range of diapers, wipes and training pants designed to provide protection and comfort for every stage of baby’s development. Visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Club program, and find ideas and information to help you and your baby ‘love the change’ together.