On Thursday, May 27th, The Liberty County School System held a press conference with Liberty Regional Medical Center. The press conference was held to mark the beginning of the LCSS partnership with the hospital through the Literacy for Learning, Living and Leading in Georgia (L4GA) grant which is worth $3 million. The school system chose the hospital because they want to improve pre literacy in Liberty County. “The purpose of this grant is to reach children from the time they’re born through 12th grade,” said Cathy Lane, the communications coordinator of LCSS. “We want to implement pre literacy before they get to us in school. We want to teach parents to read to their children because when children are read to, they become better readers when they’re older. So, by coming into the doctor offices and the hospitals we are able to do that.”
The hospital has three designated reading areas as well as two reading areas in the professional medical building and the Midway clinic. When a child visits the reading area, they are allowed to take one of the books home with them. In addition, new parents will be given “Read to Me” onesies and literacy bags containing a new book and reading tips for new parents of newborns and toddlers.
“Liberty Regional Medical Center was receptive with working with the school system from the beginning,” said Renee Harwell LRMC’s director of community outreach. “We are a great community partner for all organizations so anything that we can do to help. We wanted to partner with LCSS because we had the room in our practices, in our ER, and other areas. We knew we could touch the children as soon as they came in and promote it, so we thought it was the perfect fit.”
The school system is planning to partner with other organizations in the future. Some of those organizations are: United Way of the Coastal Empire, Chick-Fil-A, Hinesville Housing Authority, the YMCA and more.