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Annual Books for Babies program under way at Meritus Medical Center

Program coincides with 'Reading to Make Cents' contest in elementary schools

October 28, 2012
  • Ben and Christine Hurley read every chance they get to their two children, Addison, and her big brother, Connor.
Submitted photo

Addison Hurley is getting an early start to learning about the world around her through reading.

Her parents, Ben and Christine, read to Addison, and her big brother, Connor, every chance they get.

They have been reading to Addison every day since she came home from the hospital. As a fifth-grade teacher and a media specialist with Washington County Public Schools, Addison’s parents understand the importance of reading to her every chance they get.

“It is never too late to instill a love of reading in children,” Ben and Christine said. “She giggles and smiles when we read to her, and building those warm feelings now will help contribute to her becoming a lifelong reader.”

Both children enjoy frequent trips to Washington County Free Library. Christine  also coordinates the “Reading to Make Cents” contest at Emma K. Doub School for Integrated Arts and Technology.

Like every infant at Meritus Medical Center, Addison received a “Books for Babies” packet with a board book, literature and information about the importance of reading to children.

The book packets presented to each newborn at Meritus Medical Center are entirely funded through the reading accomplishments of Washington County elementary students.

The “Books for Babies” program sponsors a “Reading to Make Cents” contest in which students obtain sponsors to make pledges for every book they read during American Education Week, which will be Nov. 11 to 18.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the “Reading to Make Cents” contest.

The effort supplies a double benefit by encouraging reading at the very beginning of the babies’ lifetime learning experience and during later years of formal instruction in the school system.

Local companies donate prizes that are awarded to three winners at all participating elementary schools, as well as four countywide grand prize levels. Each participant gets an individual prize as well.

Elementary school students can sign up sponsors from now through Nov. 27, the last day of the contest. For more information, call 301-791-5277.

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