The Literally Healing Program uses books to lift the spirits of our patients and their families.
A core component of the program is a dedicated therapeutic library with over 1,000 specially selected books that are designed to help children build mastery, courage and hope while they are in our hospital. Another component of the program uses books as gifts for patients to provide them with a source of distraction during their recovery.
Health care providers request specific recommendations from our team for patients during particularly stressful times in their recovery.
The most common issues that our program can address through books include:
An eight-year-old patient was reluctant to cut her hair as she readied to begin her chemotherapy treatment. With the encouragement of our program staff, her social worker read her Kathy's Hats by Trudy Krishner – a story about a girl who discovers that her hair will grow back after she finishes treatment. After hearing the story the patient announced, “Oh, I see. My hair will grow back. Now I'm ready to have it cut off."
A Therapeutic Book for Children with Spina Bifida
In 2005, Claire Austin, MPhil, founder and director of the Literally Healing Program and Stacey Mizokawa, MD, of our Spina Bifida program, recognized that children with spina bifida had few resources to address questions about their condition. With generous support from First 5 LA, Claire Austin and Dr. Mizokawa partnered to create a one-of-a-kind online experience, Right Under My Nose, to address this need.
Right Under My Nose, is designed to help children with spina bifida understand their condition, discover new ways to enrich their lives and support their parents and caregivers in providing answers to their questions. The book is hosted as an interactive experience in both English and Spanish so more children and families can take advantage of this empowering story free-of-charge.
Gifts of books often lift the spirits of our patients and, for those who enjoy reading regularly, a new book can provide an opportunity to engage in an activity that they associate with life outside the hospital.
A BookMOObile, a mobile cart with a cow face and tail, gingham ribbon and cowbell, is used to wheel these free books around the hospital for children of all ages, from board books for infants to novels for young adults.
The program supports our patients’ academic success by giving them books that support literacy. Each weekday that a child is an inpatient at our hospital, he or she may select and keep one book. Inpatients are invited to visit the Reading Room, located on the sixth floor of the Anderson Pavilion, to select a book and enjoy the quiet atmosphere.
With the help of generous donors, last year, the program donated over 30,000 new children’s books to our patients and their siblings. We have developed a wish list of books that are highly prized by our patients. We gratefully accept donations of new books or gift cards to commercial and online bookstores, including Amazon.com.
Giving the Perfect Book - Dream Books
We are extremely grateful to our community for holding book drives to support Literally Healing so we can lift spirits, encourage and educate the young patients in our care. Space limitations at the hospital can make it a challenging to find appropriate storage space to accommodate the wonderful books you provide the children. Please consider holding a "gift card drive" instead of a traditional book drive.
Gift cards allow us to maximize your gift to our patients. Our staff gain essential flexibility to make “on-demand” book purchases and meet the specific needs of specific patients during their healing process. We use your gift cards to purchase "Dream Books," which would not normally be on our wish list or in our inventory. By tailoring title purchases, your gift helps us support patients' dreams—be these learning about robots or considering a career as an architect. Together we can expand patients' horizons and possibilities.
Gift cards deliver the perfect books for introducing and encouraging our patients' individual interests and dreams.
Deliver your Gift Cards to Literally Healing by:
Literally Healing at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
We love gift cards from: