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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2008CFD0052-001700

Nov. 10, 2008

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Ministry of Education

 

$250,000 GRANT SUPPORTS INFANT LITERACY PROGRAM

 


PRINCE GEORGE – A $250,000 provincial grant to Books for BC Babies will promote the development of early literacy and learning skills among new babies and support new parents in learning about the important role they play in their child’s healthy development.

 

            Deputy Premier, Minister of Education and Prince George-Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond made the announcement today alongside Minister of State for Child Care Linda Reid.

 

            Reading to a baby is one of the most important things a parent or caregiver can do to help their child learn,” said Bond. “As families read, talk or sing to their children they are helping to prepare them for arrival at school and it’s fun too." 

 

Created in 2004 and delivered in partnership with local libraries and community partners such as public health units and local hospitals, the community-based Books for BC Babies program aims to provide a carefully selected book, CD, and literacy package to the parents of each of the province’s approximately 41,000 newborn babies each year.

 

“It’s never too early to start reading to your child,” said Reid. “Our children start absorbing information at such an early age, so there really is a great benefit to reading with your baby as early as possible. Our children are our future, and we, as parents, are their first and most important teacher. I’m very pleased to continue this valuable partnership with Books for BC Babies.”

 

The 2009 edition of the book will be a re-issue of the classic Mother Goose: A Canadian Sampler, which features popular nursery rhymes accompanied by illustrations from Canadian artists in a board-book format. The book is published by Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press and was originally released in 1994. Accompanying the book is a new CD by Kathy Reid-Naiman entitled Zoom Zoom Cuddle and Croon.

 

The province sees about 42,000 births per year, and the Books for BC Babies program, in partnership with local libraries and community partners, has a goal of getting a copy of the book, CD, and the literacy package that accompanies it to every new parent in the province.

 

“We’re grateful to the province for its continued support for the Books for BC Babies program and its commitment to literacy,” said Alane Wilson, executive director of the B.C. Library Association. “We all recognize the importance literacy plays in ones life, and we’re pleased to be able to continue to provide important literacy tools and programs to the children and families of B.C.”


 

Royalties from the 2009 book will go to the Parent-Child Mother Goose Program, which is a group program for parents and babies or young children focusing on the power and pleasure of using songs, rhymes and stories together. Throughout the program, parents gain valuable skills and confidence that help them create positive family patterns during the early, crucial years of a child’s life.

 

Since 2001, government has invested more than $145 million in new literacy initiatives, including pre-literacy and early learning programs such as almost $12 million to operate the kindergarten readiness program Ready, Set, Learn and $2.7 million for the ActNow Literacy Education Activity and Play (LEAP BC) program that encourages literacy, physical activity and healthy eating in preschool-aged children. Government also provides every B.C. kindergarten student with a free copy of a book by a Canadian author.

 

            For more information on Books for BC Babies, visit http://books4babies.bclibrary.ca.

 

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Media

contact:

Carolyn Heiman

Ministry of Children and Family Development

250 356-1639

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963

 

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