The Effingham Public Library is pleased to announce that it is partnering with the Koboldt Trust, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation and Family Care Associates to improve childhood literacy by providing a first board book for all babies born at HSHS St. Anthony Memorial Hospital over the next year.
The library and its partners know that building a successful reader begins at birth, but in April 2017, the Effingham County Health Department released its Community Health Profile Report which found that 54.percent of Effingham County fourth grade students tested below the “proficient” level for Reading Proficiency.  According to the report, “This indicator is especially relevant to Effingham and its future population since an inability to read English well is linked to poverty, unemployment, and barriers to healthcare access.”
A copy of On the Night You Were Born will be given to each mom and baby as part of their release from the hospital and inside the book will be an invitation to attend any of the library’s free baby and toddler programs – all providing an opportunity to reinforce building good reading habits and, ultimately, build successful future readers.  HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital anticipates that just over 800 babies will receive a board book with the invitation to visit the library and begin a strong reading habit early. 
Board books, with their thick pages and colorful images, are specially designed to engage infants, and Nancy Tillerman’s On the Night You Were Born further confirms the uniqueness of each child and his/her family.
If you have questions about the Books for Baby Project, please call the library at 342-2464 x1 or email

Representatives from the organizations are:
Back Row Left to right: 
Michael Wall, Director of Philanthropy, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital
Ashley Dillingham, Outreach Representative, HSHS Home Care & Hospice Southern Illinois
Bobbi Kinkelaar, Clinical Nursing Director, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital
Grant Bushue, Fifth Third Securities, Koboldt Trust Representative
Amanda McKay, Director, Effingham Public Library
Taryn Rohr, Clinical Manager, Family Care Associates of Effingham S.C.
Front Row: 
Vicki Funneman, Programming Coordinator, Effingham Public Library
Wes Pontious

Media Contact

Ashley Gramann

Communications Manager
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 526-5439

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