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Mother Goose on the Loose

Designed and scoped materials for early literacy programs for parents of babies in the NICU (Goslings) and parents to-be (Hatchlings)

Graphic Design, Design Consultation

My role

Mother Goose on the Loose, LLC; University of Maryland (Goslings) and Maryland State Libraries (Hatchlings)

Credits/ Team

Besty Diamant-Cohen, CEO and Creator

The Project in detail


Designed the materials for a specialized family support program, that prepares parents for interacting appropriately with medically fragile babies while fostering their early language and literacy skills. The initial pilot was funded by PNC Grow-up Great and trialed at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital in collaboration with Port Discovery Children's Museum.

The program is an adaptation of the core curriculum for Mother Goose on the Loose, a national program for librarians to promote and engage children in reading. The program now is being used at the University of Maryland's Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and at their Baltimore County campus.

For the core suite, I designed panels for facilitators (NICU nurses and staff) to guide them through the sessions, a songbook for parents to take home and an instructional guide for facilitators in training. Throughout all the materials, the red light, yellow light and green light system for engaging with NICU babies was integrated to signal to parents what stimulus they could do with their baby — red light means voice only, no touching; yellow light means voice & touch only, with a “NICU hug” or hold your baby skin-to-skin; and, green light means voice, touch and show, such as showing a book as you read it or hand motions while singing.

Excerpt from the instructional guide:


Because of my existing relationship through Goslings, I joined the scoping team at the Maryland State Libraries as they developed programming to scale Mother Goose on the Loose for pregnant and new parents with babies 0-4 months.

The goal of this programming is the plant the roots of early literacy development through in-person and outreach programming so that all families can learn the importance of daily, early reading, singing, and bonding with their babies.

The programming with split into two sections: Ready to Hatch, for pregnant and expecting parents; and In the Nest, for newborns and babies up to 4-months.

I scoped and consulted with the core team about what materials were essential for the programming, as well as what materials they would like for parents to engage with. Because of COVID-19, we also had to be agile to the virtual setting and how to accommodate parents in their home environment.

I created the core branding and custom illustrations for the programs. I design the facilitation guides for librarians, panels (print, digital), song book and song sheets, outreach collateral (flyers, sign in sheets) and parent hand outs. I also worked with the core team to scale the programs into the Spanish

Excerpts from the facilitation guide:

Excerpts from the facilitation panels:

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