A partnership between Floyd Medical Center, Rome City Schools and Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy will help provide free books for babies born at the hospital in 2018.


The aim of the literacy program is to make sure a child receives a free book each month from birth through their fifth birthday. Rome City Schools will pay for “Read to Me,” the first book all newborns at the hospital will receive in 2018.


Louis Byars, superintendent of Rome City Schools, said the effort is part of a plan to raise literacy rates.


“I knew we needed to start as early as possible to help all children succeed,” Byars said. “Since approximately 2,300 children are born at Floyd Medical Center each year, I thought that would be the best place to begin.” The books will cost the city school system $3 each.


Ginger Rowston, Family Engagement Coordinator for the school system, said one goal of the program is to encourage parents to read to their children.

“We are excited and honored to partner with Rome City Schools and the Ferst Foundation to foster a love of reading and help children in this community on their way to academic success,” said Kellie Pearson, Director Of Women’s & Children’s Services at Floyd.

Through the Ferst Foundation, one free book will be mailed to each family every month. Parents can register their children to receive the books at the hospital after they are born.