Last week, the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation celebrated the New Year in a truly unforgettable way. We met Giovanni, the first baby born in the JPS Health Network (and one of the first babies born in all of Tarrant County)! And we had the honor of giving him his first birthday gift: a copy of “Read to Me” by Judi Moreillon and his first Fort Worth Library card. The bilingual book encourages parents to read to their babies.

It was an honor to present Giovanni his book alongside Mayor Betsy Price and Fort Worth Library Director Gleniece Robinson.

Giovanni helped us launch our newest program, Books for Tarrant County Babies. We’ve partnered with the Fort Worth Library, JPS Foundation, and JPS Health Network for this exciting new program. Every baby born in the JPS Health Network will be given a copy of “Read to Me” by Judi Moreillon and a library card!

Studies show that reading to newborns can help build strong literary skills from an early age. Currently, only about 30% of third graders in FWISD read at their grade level. We want to see that number grow to 100%. We’re starting the fight for literacy early: at infancy. We can’t wait to see how this program helps encourage one-on-one reading time between parents and their newborns.

We look forward to hearing more from Giovanni’s parents, Diana Castorena and Jose Alvarado, about his reading journey in the coming years! (Diana and Jose already have library cards they told us that they use their branch library all the time.)

Read more about Books for Tarrant County Babies here: http://fwplf.org/bftcb/