By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The great green room, the telephone and the red balloon will continue to go home with newborns from the North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital.
On Monday, the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi and Universal Asset Management each committed $2,500 to purchase another 1,500 of the children’s classic “Goodnight Moon” for each child born at the hospital.
“Universal Asset Management really believes in education,” said chief operating officer Keri Wright, who challenged other companies to participate in the program. “It’s truly an honor to be part of this.”
The books have been a hit with parents.
“We haven’t gotten this one,” said new mom Cherish Prater of Booneville, who received a book for her newborn son Waylon Prater on Monday. She and her husband, Justin, also will share the book with their older son, Elijah, 2 1/2, who loves reading. “This is so sweet.”
Since the Mayor’s Education Task Force launched the project more than two years ago, they’ve sent home nearly 5,000 books, said Ellen Friloux, NMMC women and children’s services administrator.
The privately funded partnership is an incredible commitment to Tupelo’s aim to support lifelong learning, said Mayor Jack Reed Jr.
“I don’t think any city in American can start them any earlier than Tupelo, Miss.,” Reed said.
The community can keep the program going by donating to a fund established at the CREATE Foundation.