Multi-Site NICU Read-a-thon

IMG_0825 2.jpeg
September 2020 Read-a-thon was Success!
See below for more information on the inaugural event and stay tuned for the next annual read-a-thon in September 2021.
Read-a-thon Highlights:

39 NICUs participated in a multi-NICU read-a-thon to celebrate and encourage shared family reading and improve the NICU experience during this difficult and isolating time of COVID-19!


See the map below for the NICUs that participated in the September 2020 read-a-thon.

Read-a-thon NICUs!

  • Advocate Children's Hospital Oak Lawn

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

  • Baylor Scott and White Medical Center McKinney

  • Baylor University Medical Center Dallas

  • Beacon Children's Hospital

  • Carle Foundation Hospital

  • Cedars-Sinai

  • Dublin Methodist Hospital Neonatal Special Care Unit; Nationwide Childrens'

  • Emory Decatur Hospital

  • HCA Clear Lake

  • Humber River Hospital

  • Inova Loudoun

  • Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children

  • Medical Center of Aurora NICU

  • Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center

  • Mercy Health Saint Mary's

  • Mercy Kids NICU - St. Louis

  • Mott's Children's Hospital

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

  • Monmouth Medical Center

  • Presbyterian Hospital

  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center

  • Rady Children Hopstial of San Diego

  • Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

  • Randall Children's Hospital

  • Rochester General Hospital

  • Rose Medical Center

  • Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend

  • Saint Lukes Plaza

  • Salem Hospital NICU

  • Sanford USD Medical Center

  • Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center

  • St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital NICU

  • St. Mary's Hospital

  • St. Vincent Healthcare, SCL Health

  • Swedish American Hospital NICU

  • UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital

  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

  • University of Vermont Medical Center

Read-a-thon Winners:

These hospitals were identified as the winners by having the most reading sessions, adjusted for NICU size and read-a-thon length.

First Place: 

Emory Decatur Hospital 

Second Place:

University of Vermont Medical Center

Third Place:

Rochester General Hospital


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

What's a multi-NICU read-a-thon?

A NICU read-a-thon is a friendly reading competition between NICUs. Our read-a-thon’s goals are to encourage family reading, support infants and families, and build NICU morale. Hospitals compete with each-other for the greatest family engagement and the winning hospitals will receive prizes.

Our BWB team provides all participating NICUs with a process guide detailing how to organize a read-a-thon, providing reading tracking sheets/raffle tickets, family and healthcare provider information sheets, bookmarks, prize suggestions and more! 

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


Quotes from NICU families and healthcare providers:

  • “Reading to my NICU baby never crossed my mind before BWB came to our room” - NICU Family

  • Asa bilingual family, being able to read books in Spanish and English to my baby was incredible. To this day, he loves to snuggle in for a story. At 2 years old, he is still choosing books he received from the NICU.” - NICU Family

  • “NICU Reading has encouraged families to be an active part of their child's care.” - NICU Nurse

  • “What a great idea to use the fun of reading to children and bring it into the NICU so parents can start reading during this important time of growing.” - NICU Nurse

  • “Reading in the NICU gives families a way to help their baby and have a positive, "parent-like" NICU experience.” - NICU Nurse


Our BWB team is available to support your work and answer questions along the way! Email us at

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

©2021 by Babies With Books