« Back to Health, Wellness & Safety

The Stork Project

St. Louis County Library, MO

Innovation Summary

Nurse-Family Partnership got more than they bargained for when they asked the St. Louis County Library for discarded children’s books. It got a full-blown program for its clients, one that is unique in the U.S. The library developed a program to send select items to the Nurse-Family partnership clients.

Innovation Leader: Colleen Hall, Outreach Manager, chall@slcl.org

Problem Statement

Nurse-Family Partnership’s maternal health program introduces vulnerable first-time parents to caring maternal and child health nurses. They provide nurses who deliver the support first-time moms need to have a healthy pregnancy, become knowledgeable and responsible parents, and provide their babies with the best possible start in life. Partnering with this organization to provide reading materials in support of these efforts was a perfect match for the library’s focus of improving early childhood literacy.

Innovation

St. Louis County Library worked in tandem with the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) staff to develop a program which sends select items to NFP clients. Items are placed in sturdy tote bags and each bag is a kits. The kits are stored at the County Health Department. When a nurse visits a client, she takes a kit. When she returns, she retrieves the kit and gives the resident a new one. There are kits for three stages: pregnancy, infant, and toddler. The contents described below. Pregnancy kit: Three books for the mother, two board books and a DVD about pregnancy and delivery. Infancy kit: Six items (board books, music CD) to explore with the baby. Toddler kit: Twelve items (board books, music CD.)

Progress

The Nurse-Family Partnership is a non-profit organization. Over 30 years, the organization has tested its results and found a host of benefits to the clients including: • Improved prenatal health • Fewer childhood injuries • Fewer subsequent pregnancies • Increased intervals between births • Increased maternal employment • Improved school readiness. The anticipated outcome is that new parents will have increased access to materials to help them be better educated and involved parents. Children will be given direct access to reading materials at the very beginning of their lives and into their second year. This program dovetails with St. Louis County Library’s preschool outreach program which brings activity and reading kits to local daycare facilities mainly in high-need areas of the County.