Beginning Babies with Books provides workshops to the parents of young children, often including individuals with literacy issues of their own.  We collaborate with a variety of social service and health care organizations to support them through education, and discussions promoting reading, curiosity, critical thinking, and healthy habits.  We also distribute books to families with young children to support literacy in the home.

  • Improves Parental Confidence
  • Enhances Language Development
  • Builds Relationships
  • Engaging Literacy Activities
  • Supportive Community

Through support and encouragement, 93% of the parents and caregivers in our Beginning Babies with Books program read more than 15 minutes a day with their children. 

The program is offered at Y branches, local schools, and through community partners that meet qualifying criteria.  If your organization is interested in partnering please complete the Letter of Program Interest and email to Leah Burnett at leah.burnett@gwrymca.org.

We currently hold parent education workshops at the following community organizations:

Queen of Peace
Haven of Grace
Carr Square
Walbridge Elementary School

If your organization would like to be a partner organization complete the Letter of Program Interest and email to Leah Burnett at leah.burnett@gwrymca.org or call 314-776-7102.

Beginning Babies with Books is a one hour workshop around a variety of themes that promote positive parenting skills. Some of the themes include Love & Logic®, self-love/care tips for parents, developing competent readers, and learning through play. Workshop activities might include small group discussions, hands-on play, and adult style arts & crafts.

Do you need to be a member to participate in the program?
No, this is a program we offer free to the community regardless of YMCA membership

Can my organization receive books for our families?
Yes! We offer book distributions to organizations that meet our qualifying standards. Please fill out the application for books and email it to leah.burnett@gwrymca.org

How do schools and community partners get involved with Beginning Babies with Books?
Schools and community partners who would like to host the program must complete a Letter of Interest form and email to Leah Burnett at leah.burnett@gwrymca.org.. Completing the form does not guarantee participation in the program.

Is there a cost associated with the program?
There is no cost associated with this program for qualifying schools and community partners.

Thank you to our community partners who help make this program possible:

Normandy Collaborative
Vision for Children at Risk
Scholastic books
First Books
Books for STL Kids
Turn the Page STL

If your organization would like to become a community partner please complete the Letter of Program Interest and email to Leah Burnett at leah.burnett@gwrymca.org or call 314-776-7102.