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Why do we need this program?

The NICU is a lonely place. Only parents and grandparents are allowed to visit, but it is difficult to do this all at the same time.  Having a baby in the NICU is overwhelming, stressful, and terrifying. Matthew Love Books not only provides a first literacy experience for babies, it provides a much needed kindness for their families. 

A gift waiting at the bedside reminds parents that people care, understand, and want to offer support. The book serves as a quick way to make a connection. It gives parents something to share with their babies—a way to fill a visit. The sound of the families’ voices becomes a beacon of calmness, conditioning babies to associate family and the book with security. 

Studies show that parents who read picture books to premature babies in the NICU feel a closer bond to their babies in that challenging environment, and were twice as likely to continue reading to the infants after they got home.