Literacy for Little Ones expands to Howard Young Medical Center

(Woodruff, WI) – Literacy for Little Ones, a program whose mission is to encourage parents to read to their newborns, has expanded to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. The program currently donates book packages to babies born at Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander, Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital in Stevens Point, and Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston.

In April 2009, after receiving a Disney Minnie/Youth Service America Grant, Rachel Ley of Stevens Point delivered the first batch of children’s books to newborns at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital on behalf of a program she created named Literacy for Little Ones. In October 2011, Literacy for Little Ones expanded to Ministry St Clare's, and in August 2012, the program expanded to Ministry St. Mary’s.

Literacy for Little Ones is entering its third year in North Central Wisconsin and because of her outstanding leadership and commitment to philanthropy, Ley was recently selected to be a returning member for the 2012-2014 generationOn National Youth Advisory Council.

As part of the Council, young service leaders will help to develop and execute generationOn's key initiatives, and serve as ambassadors for the power of all kids to make their mark on the world.

“I believe reading to children promotes a special bond,” said Rachel Ley, Literacy for Little Ones. “My mother read to me as a child and I’m a better reader and listener because of it. I want children to have the same opportunity I had.”

On November 21, 2012 Howard Young Medical Center President Sheila Clough and Vice President of Patient Care Services Deb Karow joined Rachel in a special book delivery to a new parent in the birthing center at HYMC in Woodruff in recognition of Rachel’s accomplishments, and to help kick off the launch of the program’s third year. The books were purchased with a $500 grant from Disney Friends for Change. On average, 300 babies are delivered each year at HYMC.

“We’re honored Rachel selected our hospital to share Literacy for Little Ones with new parents in our community,” said Karow. “Together we can hopefully inspire other community leaders to give unconditionally in order to make a positive impact on the life of another.”

Local schools and organizations are encouraged to donate to the literacy cause. Interested donors can email Literacy for Little Ones founder, Rachel Ley at

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