Books and information for new moms donated to St. Luke's Hospital Birth Center


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  • Provided photos Showing off their care packages to the St. Luke's Birth Center in Newburgh are: in the back and from the left: Shantelle Lord, Priya Raja, Heather Milano, Jennifer Koby, Annie Labrada, Dorey Houle, Latrice Campbell, Yasmine Kalkstein, Annette Koby, Olivia Houle, Sanjita Raja and Sivan Kalkstein. Front row: Jael-Lucia Milano, left, Sara Labrada, Matan Kalkstein, Matthew Campbell and Victoria Campbell.




  • Brownie Girl Scout Sara Labrada passes the books down the assembly line from Annie Labrada to Yasmine Kalkstein to help back over 200 care packages that included educational materials and other goodies. The Jewish Federation of Newburgh donated the space to store and pack.




NEWBURGH — Monroe resident Yasmine Kalkstein, a Mount Saint Mary College psychology professor, recently spearheaded a project to bring used children's books to new mothers St. Luke's Hospital Birth Center in Newburgh, resulting in over 200 care packages for the facility.

The project was supported by the college, Jewish Federation of Orange County, and many other organizations and individuals. Mothers received information on local community resources, why reading to kids is important, child development (cognitively, emotionally, socially), postpartum depression, breastfeeding and even encouraging notes from other mothers.

Kalkstein, Brownie Girl Scout leader, also enlisted the help of her troop in the effort.

"'It Takes a Village" packed over 1,600 children's books (in addition to many other items and educational resources," Kalkstein said. "We then had about eight carloads (and my hard working girl scout troop) delivering them to St. Luke's Hospital where they will go to mothers."

The goal, she added, was to give young mothers an "at home library" of books to read to their children.

"We got over double the books we expected," Kalkstein added, "and many helped."

- Nancy Kriz




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