A recent grant supports Valley’s littlest learners. The Windermere Foundation awarded Valley’s Children’s Therapy clinic $2,000 in support of the “Books for Babies” program. Books purchased through the grants funds will be offered to parents of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) infants to promote language development. The Foundation states it selected the project because it will help infants within South King County get a strong start at life.
“Research shows that reading to babies is soothing and helps them to regulate their physiological state. For babies in the NICU who are under so much stress, this can have an amazing power to help them stay in the calm states that help them to grow and heal. Additionally, such early literacy activities are known to have positive effects on cognitive and language growth,” says Kari Tanta, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Rehab Manager of Valley’s Children’s Therapy clinic.
Each family will receive two books and educational materials on early literacy and the importance of reading to babies. Books purchased with grant funds will be in both English and Spanish and will include childhood classics such as “Goodnight Moon,” “Brown Bear, Brown Bear,” and fairy tales. “Our Children’s Therapy colleagues created the program and launched the pilot with donated funds.This grant extends the program and builds on its success. We value Children’s Therapy’s support and partnership in providing great care to our patients. Our patients are much better off because of their skills,” states Bo Scholzen, Manager of Children’s Services in Valley’s Pediatrics and Mother Baby unit. “We are so grateful to the donors who have contributed, allowing us to bring this program to life!” Tanta adds.
The Windermere Foundation is a non-profit organization established by employees whose primary goal is to support shelter, food, children’s programs, emergency assistance, and other services in South King County.