Adult literacy lagging, but more parents reading to infants
BATON ROUGE, La. – Baton Rouge General (BRG) and Episcopal School
of Baton Rouge have teamed up on a “Books for Babies” program,
giving new families at BRG’s Birth Center a set of books to start
their home library.
Nationally, one in six adults have less-than-basic literacy, and Louisiana
ranks higher than the national average in adults lacking basic literacy
skills. In addition, children of parents with low literacy skills have
a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves,
according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
“Studies show that just over half of children ages 3 to 5 are read
to daily by a family member,” said Cory Lemoine, a first grade teacher
at Episcopal. “Many parents don’t read to their children because
there is little to no access to books in their homes, and we need to intervene
to create literacy-rich families.”
Lemoine had an idea to address the issue locally and reached out to Dr.
Candace Moore, a parent of one of his student’s and an OB/GYN at BRG.
“The thought process behind the program was to introduce children
to reading from day one, and even better, involve the parents,”
said Dr. Moore. “As a hospital we had the perfect opportunity to
put this idea into action, and Episcopal coordinated a very successful
school-wide book drive to bring ‘Books for Babies’ to life.”
Despite the sobering statistics on the lack of literacy among adults, a
new report from Scholastic shows a big jump in parents reading to their
babies from birth – 43%, up from 30% in 2014 – further highlighting
the importance of programs that increase access to reading.
“We received such positive feedback from patients during the program’s
first year, and with 50% more books collected this year, we anticipate
an even greater impact this year,” said Dr. Moore.
From left, Episcopal’s Cory Lemoine, BRG’s Kelly Kyle, BRG’s
Sarah Drennan, MD, and BRG’s Candace Moore, MD, visit Episcopal
to accept the books, which were gathered through a school-wide book drive.
About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community
hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General
opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community
with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital
since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University
School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including
a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine
Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine
Fellowship Program. For more information, visit
BRGeneral.org, find us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BatonRougeGeneral and follow us on Twitter at