China Spring students fill the shelves at ‘The Lullaby Room’ with books for parents with preemies

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:39 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Moms and dads who find themselves in scary situations with a baby born prematurely now have a library to turn to for comfort thanks to the thoughtfulness of 4-H students in Central Texas.

China Spring 4-H, which is a national youth development organization for kids and teenagers, gathered and delivered dozens of children’s books to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Waco.

The donations delivered by the students were enough to fill up an entire shelf in what’s being called “The Lullaby Room” just outside the ICU.

“We definitely appreciate donations from many different organizations in our community, and when it’s the kids giving back, it means even more,” said nurse Robyn Geerts.

“I think it’s great that the 4-H community approached us to do this project and to really look out for our kiddos and it really means a lot that we have a community that’s really looking out for us and it’s very special to us,” said Nurse Practitioner Andrea Dossey.

The nurses who care for some of the most critically born babies say the benefits of a library are many, including helping parents bond with babies that are often too sick to hold.

“Reading is a really simple way for our parents to bond with their babies,” Dossey said.  “Babies can recognize mom and dad’s voice very early on and so that’s something that can console them.   It’s something that mom and dad can do that’s pretty simple for baby even if the babies too sick to be held.”

China Spring 4-H Club Manager Melissa Hedrick said making the library possible fit with the organization’s mission of helping others.

“It helps them learn to serve others and do things for everyone else and then make the world a better place,” Hedrick said.  “One of our 4-H mottos is make the best better.”

Several of the books have already been used by parents in the NICU in the first few days.

The books can be returned or taken home by the families.