June 21, 2010
This little book, Happy Birthday, Little Pookie, is among those clinic staff will present to patients celebrating birthdays at the time of their annual check-ups.
Books open the world to children, and birthdays celebrate their place in it. So Child Life at Hopkins Children’s has decided to combine the two for patients in the Harriet Lane, Hopkins Children’s community clinic. Every patient celebrating a birthday on the day of his or her annual check-up will now receive a birthday-theme book. The “Birthday Book Program” is a component of Hopkins Children’s larger “Reach Out and Read” (ROAR) program, through which clinic patients from 6-months-old to 5, are given a new book at every well-child visit, and volunteers read to children of all ages in the waiting room.
“Our goal with the birthday program,” says Harriet Lane Child Life Specialist Jessica Chupnick, “is not only to help our patients feel special and happy, and make their day more fun and exciting, but to remind parents that books are terrific presents, with lasting benefits. We’re always looking for new ways to get books into the hands and home of our children.”
Among the birthday books, donated to date, are Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake; Arthur’s Birthday; Baby Max and Ruby Birthday; Happy Birthday, Little Pookie; Elmo’s Birthday Party and Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss.
New books are always welcome for both the ROAR and birthday program, as are volunteers interested in reading to children in the clinic’s waiting room, says Chupnick, volunteer coordinator for Child Life. For more information, contact Chupnick, 410-502-8619, or the Department of Child Life, 410-955-6276.