Sentara, Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William launches ‘Books4Babies’

On Monday, January 13, 2020, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center (SNVMC) in partnership with Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW) launched the Books4Babies program at the Women’s Health Center at SNVMC.

Every SNVMC newborn will leave the hospital with a children’s book, a developmental milestone guide, and resources. Books and resource material are offered in both English and Spanish.

The resources include suggested books for parents to read to their children and a flyer from the Prince William Public Library System promoting the “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten” program.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says, “Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.”

Prior to the babies leaving the hospital, SNVMC trained volunteers will educate families about the importance of reading aloud beginning in infancy. Most volunteers have comprehensive experience in teaching and working with young families.

The Books4Babies program launch at SNVMC is spearheaded by Linda Trexler, SNVMC Books4Babies program lead, together with Pam Emert, who has more than four years of experience with the Books4Babies program. Currently, the program at SNVMC is comprised of six  SNVMC auxiliary volunteers. It is our goal, together with other county sponsors, that every baby born in Prince William County will receive a book and his/her parents will receive information about the benefits of reading to their child, beginning at birth.

The launch of Books4Babies at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has been made possible through generous donations from the SNVMC Medical Staff, the Lake Ridge Rotary, and SNVMC Auxiliary as well as numerous community donations.

As part of a statewide network of Smart Beginnings, SBGPW serves with assistance and guidance from Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF). This approach allows local efforts to be individualized while working in harmony with other communities to achieve results throughout Virginia. SPARK serves as the fiscal agent.

To contribute to the Books4Babies program at SNVMC, Contributions can be made to the Prince William County Schools (PWCS) Education Foundation (SPARK)

• Online/credit card Visit SPARK Website at, to CONTRIBUTE, use “Add special instructions to the seller” to designate your contribution to B4B – Sentara

• By check, please note in MEMO: Books4Babies – Sentara SPARK, the Education Foundation for PWCS P.O. Box 389 Manassas, VA 20108
SPARK is the operating name of the Prince William County Public Schools Education Foundation (FE ID# 54-1498824), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center is a 183-bed, not-for-profit community hospital serving Prince William County and its surrounding communities. Our medical center combines the resources of a major health system with the compassionate, personalized care of a community hospital. SNVMC offer s quiet, private rooms and high-quality care focused on safety and patient satisfaction. We offer a wide range of medical specialties, a highly qualified medical and clinical staff, and state-of-the-art technology. Our clinical services include advanced imaging, cancer services, diabetes management, emergency care, heart, and vascular care, lab services, neurosurgery, primary care, orthopedics, urology, weight loss surgery, women’s services and more.

Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William Smart Beginnings Greater Prince William (SBGPW) is a public-private partnership aimed at increasing kindergarten readiness in the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County, Virginia. Our leadership represents members of the business, education, health, and social services sectors, working together to deliver efficiencies to bring greater opportunity to our area’s most vulnerable – our children, ages 0–5. For further information, please contact Tawnya Soltis, Executive Director, at or visit

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