Multi-Site NICU Read-a-thon

Septemeber 2020 Read-a-thon Highlights:


Participating NICUs:


NICUs participated in the September 2020 read-a-thon


Reading sessions at each participating NICU


Of NICUs said this read-a-thon encouraged them to start or expand a reading program in their NICU


  • Advocate Children's Hospital - Oak Lawn

  • Akron Children's Special Care Nursery at St. Joseph Hospital

  • Baylor Scott and White Medical Center - McKinney

  • Baylor University Medical Center - Dallas

  • Beacon Children's Hospital

  • Carle Foundation Hospital

  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

  • Dublin Methodist Hospital (Nationwide Children's Hospital)

  • Emory Decatur Hospital

  • HCA Houston Clear Lake Hospital

  • Humber River Hospital

  • Inova Loudoun Hospital

  • Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children

  • Medical Center of Aurora

  • Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center

  • Mercy Children's Hospital - St. Louis

  • Mercy Health St. Mary's Hospital - Grand Rapids

  • Monmouth Medical Center

  • Mott Children's Hospital (University of Michigan)

  • OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois (University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria)

  • Presbyterian Hospital

  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

  • Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego

  • Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

  • Randall Children's Hospital

  • Rochester General Hospital

  • PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend

  • Rose Medical Center

  • Salem Health

  • Sanford USD Medical Center (University of South Dakota Medical Center)

  • Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center (Stanford University Medical Center)

  • SCL Health St. Mary's Medical Center

  • SCL Health St. Vincent Healthcare

  • St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City

  • St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital - San Antonio

  • Swedish American Hospital

  • UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital

  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center

  • University of Vermont Medical Center

Winning Hospitals (based on reading rate):

First: Emory Decatur Hospital 

Second: University of Vermont Medical Center

Third: Rochester General Hospital

Our NICU Read-a-thon:

NICU read-a-thons are friendly reading competitions between both families and NICUs. Our read-a-thon works to encourage family reading, support infants and families, and build NICU morale especially during the isolating time of COVID-19.

Participating hospitals receive BWB's read-a-thon process guide with step-by-step guidelines for organizing and implementing a read-a-thon. Our guide includes materials and resources such as:

  • Family information on how and why to read in the NICU

  • Healthcare Provider information on NICU reading rationale

  • Suggestions for engaging families and healthcare providers in read-a-thon

  • Templated materials to promote read-a-thon

  • Templated reading tracking sheets

  • ​Templated data collection sheets

  • Books lists in multiple languages, including easy access to free, online books

Learn more about how reading aloud with babies beginning in the NICU supports infant brain development, promotes family bonding, and reduces stress here.  


Read-a-thon Feedback:

“Families rallied around the chance to start reading with their babies as a way to bond.”

-  NICU Nurse

"I loved it! And the babies seemed to enjoy it, too. I noticed they became calm, attentive, and had more regular heart rates and breathing rates when being read to."

- NICU Speech Therapist

"I'm so proud of our entire NICU team for participating in this amazing opportunity to help bring awareness to a crucial and often under recognized topic."

- NICU Medical Director

“This experience reminds me why I love my job."

- Chief Nursing Officer









To learn more about BWB and NICU reading, see our poster on our NICU reading program from the Vermont Oxford Network Annual Quality Congress


Join the 2021 read-a-thon!