Saturday, December 31, 2011

Books for Babies New Mexico

cover of bookFirst Santa Fe Baby of 2012 to Receive Books Thanks to New Program

BOOKS FOR BABIES NEW MEXICO, a partnership between the Santa Fe Public Library, Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library and St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, was created to stress the importance of reading to children at an early age.

Beginning with the first baby of the New Year, every child born in the hospital will go home with a brightly colored canvas bag containing a book, a CD of lullabies, an innovative die-cut brochure on the importance of reading to babies (which can be folded into a box), an application for a library card, and information on community resources. Printed on the side of the bags, soon to be seen all over town: “I READ TO MY BABY EVERY DAY.”

An estimated 1600 babies will receive the gift bag and their first book in 2012.

Research shows that reading to babies early significantly strengthens brain development, builds vocabulary, helps parents bond better with their babies and sets the stage for later success in school.

The project was first suggested by local children’s author Diane Stanley, and is based on Born to Read, a similar program in San Antonio, Texas. It soon became a community effort. A core group from the Santa Fe Public Library, the hospital and St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, Brindle Foundation, and the Santa Fe Institute began the project’s development.

Students in Arlyn Nathan’s graphic design class at Santa Fe University of Art and Design created the logo and designed the brochure. Local businesses did the imprinting of the bags and created the brochures. And the lullaby CD, by New Mexico singer Nidia Corral de Martinez, was produced in cooperation with the Santa Fe County Maternal & Child Health Planning Council by New Mexico Project LAUNCH, a federal grant administered by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Books for Babies New Mexico ties in with other local efforts to promote early literacy, including the Books and Babies program at two library branches and Reach Out and Read through area pediatricians and family doctors. Though Books for Babies New Mexico is getting its start in Santa Fe, the hope is to gradually expand the program to other communities, with the dream of eventually going statewide. Contributions to purchase books for the program can be made to the Books for Babies NM Fund c/o St. Vincent Hospital Foundation, 455 St. Michael’s Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great program, and 1600 sounds like a pretty big number. Hopefully other states will adopt similar programs!
-Jackie @ baby ties