Literacy Matters: Books for Babies encourages early learning

Books for Babies is a literacy program in the Cariboo-Chilcotin that provides parents of newborns support in the important role they play.

Books for Babies is a literacy program in the Cariboo-Chilcotin that provides parents of newborns support in the important role they play in the development of their children.

Through the program, every baby born in the Cariboo-Chilcotin receives a book bag containing four books including a board book and information about other services in their community.

The Books for Babies project in the Cariboo is led by Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy and has been giving book bags to new parents since 2001.

“So many of us take reading for granted but the truth is we must make learning to read and loving to read a part of everyday life if we want our children and our community to be a healthy vibrant place in which to live,” says Lil Mack the program co-ordinator. “Providing early learning through books, the Books for Babies program is one way that we can make a difference!”

The Books for Babies program has been an important part of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society (CCPL) since literacy begins with spoken language — babies love to hear their parents’ voice and books give parents something to talk about.

When read over and over and over again, a good story gives children the chance to learn language.

By reading to their babies, parents help their babies develop language skills and start them on the path to success in reading and learning.

Local organizations donate to support the purchase of Books for Babies packets.

“Books for Babies” has been providing books to every new baby for more than a decade. Organized by CCPL, funded by the of Williams Lake and distributed by  Interior Health maternity nurses.

Books for Babies gives out about 350 bags a year in Williams Lake and about 100 in 100 Mile House.

Welcome Wagon and Interior Health nurses say that sharing the book bags with parents is a highlight for them and builds a meaningful bond.

Parents are recognized, celebrated and supported with resources and information for their children.

Parents are encouraged to share books with their children.

Feedback from Parents:

• It makes my kids feel special when I read to them.

• To have books to read to children from an early age is a great learning tool and gives me time to share and be with my child one-on-one.

• These books have helped encourage my son to read and learn new words.

For more information on Books for Babies:

In Williams Lake contact Lil Mack at  lil@caribooliteracy.com or call 250-392-6867,

In 100 Mile House contact Shelly Joyner shelly@caribooliteracy.com or call 250-395-9303.

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