Transforming Children’s Lives through Literacy at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

At UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, philanthropy plays a pivotal role in fostering literacy among children, providing them with access to education, resources, and support that positively impact their physical and emotional well-being. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the hospital continues to prioritize literacy initiatives for local children, creating a world of opportunities through the magic of books and stories.

Literacy Programs: Unlocking the Doors to Imagination and Empathy

UPMC Children’s recognizes that literacy enhances children’s vocabulary, language skills, and critical thinking abilities. Through several philanthropically supported programs like Booksburgh, Reach Out and Read, the Moulis Library, and literacy initiatives at the Family Care Connection (FCC) centers, the hospital fosters a love of reading and learning in children. These programs rely heavily on donor contributions, highlighting the crucial role of philanthropy in promoting literacy.

Booksburgh: Creating a Joyful Experience Even During Hospital Stays

Dr. Jessica Garrison, a physician in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at UPMC Children’s, founded Booksburgh, a reading program aimed at promoting early childhood literacy for inpatient children. Through Booksburgh, children’s books are read aloud in group settings or broadcasted from the hospital’s in-house TV station, Dream Big Studio. Hospitalized children receive copies of the selected books, creating a shared experience for families and reminding parents that joy and learning can still be experienced during hospital stays. This program also provides a unique opportunity for pediatricians-in-training to interact with their young patients in a fun and engaging way.

Reach Out and Read: Empowering Families through Reading

UPMC Children’s embraces the national initiative, Reach Out and Read, which provides free books and reading tips during routine pediatric wellness check-ups. Understanding the challenges faced by families with limited resources, the hospital’s Primary Care Centers in Oakland and Turtle Creek promote the positive effects of reading together daily. Donor support allows UPMC Children’s to provide new, developmentally appropriate books to patients aged 6 months to 5 years at well visits. Physicians and staff not only encourage reading but also offer resources and support services to families when needed. By promoting early literacy, UPMC Children’s supports the holistic development of each child, nurturing their mind, body, and spirit.

Moulis Library: A Haven for Families and Patients

The Moulis Library, the only standalone library at UPMC Children’s, offers a serene space for people of all ages to enjoy a good book. Patients and family members can select books to read within the library or bring them back to their rooms. Unlike public libraries, books from the Moulis Library do not need to be checked out; they are meant to be kept by the patients. This generosity allows hospitalized children and their families to find comfort, bonding, and a sense of normalcy through reading, reducing stress, and boosting their healing process.

Literacy at Family Care Connection: Expanding Horizons for Young Minds

UPMC Children’s FCC centers provide literacy-centered programs alongside various other services, such as emergency food boxes, recreational activities, and rental assistance. With funding from organizations like the Rona Jaffe Foundation and support from The Pittsburgh Study, UPMC Children’s hosts the Reading Together program. This initiative brings families together virtually through monthly storytime sessions, featuring culturally and racially responsive books. Participating families receive a copy of the selected book along with the ingredients for a themed meal. The program encourages dialogue, fosters inclusivity, and allows children to see characters and stories that reflect their own diverse backgrounds.

The commitment and generosity of our donors empower UPMC Children’s to transform the lives of countless children through literacy initiatives. Donate today to support programs like Booksburgh, Reach Out and Read, the Moulis Library, and the literacy programs at Family Care Connection, which provide children with the opportunity to develop a lifelong love for reading, creativity, and empathy. Your contributions create a lasting impact, nurturing the minds and spirits of local kids.