Multi-Site NICU Read-a-thon

Join us!

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Join us this September 14th - 24th, 2020

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!


Scroll around the map to see non-US NICUs (Read-a-thon NICU in Canada and Process Guide NICUs in South Africa, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Qatar, and the United Kingdom). The below map shows NICUs registered for the September read-a-thon in blue and NICUs receiving our process guide on implementing or expanding a reading program in their NICU in red.

Join these and other 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

How does this multi-site NICU read-a-thon work?

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 will compete with each-other for the greatest family engagement and the winning hospitals will receive prizes.

Our BWB team will provide 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.  


Already have books in your NICU? Fabulous! 

Don’t have books in your NICU and want to participate?  You still can! Scroll down.


How can my NICU join and implement the read-a-thon?

Once you register to receive the process guide below, we will send you detailed information on organizing and implementing your read-a-thon including templates for staff and family education, reading tracking sheets, raffle tickets, bookmarks, prize basket ideas, sourcing info, and more! You can use these resources to organize a read-a-thon that best serves your NICU family and healthcare provider population.


Read-a-thon Timeline

Read-a-thon Dates:  Monday, September 14th - Thursday, September 24th, 2020 

NICU Reading Tracking Sheet Submission:  Friday, September 25th - Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

NICU Winners announced: Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 11:30 AM PST


What should I do once I register?

Once registered, identify how you will provide books to your NICU. If you have books in your NICU, fabulous! If you don’t have books, there are many ways your NICU can get books - see below.


How can I get books for my NICU?

Our process guide will give you access to free, downloadable children's books for your NICU. These can be used to supplement or replace purchased books to meet your hospital's needs.

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

©2020 by Babies With Books