Did you know that babies in the womb can hear their mothers’ voices?

So reading to your child should begin even before they are born! There are many positive developmental benefits to beginning literacy in early childhood. That’s why it’s so important to give babies board books, even in their first year. “It’s getting them familiar with what a book is, that it has a cover, that it has pages, that you turn the pages from right to left,” explains Laura Lukasik, Manager, Partnerships & Outreach at the Hamilton Public Library. “Even if they chew on it, that’s ok – it’s all part of the learning process.”

Receiving a brand new board book as part of the “Read to Your Baby” project.

Receiving a brand new board book as part of the “Read to Your Baby” project.

Receiving a brand new board book as part of the “Read to Your Baby” project.

One of the literacy programs Telling Tales supports is “Read to Your Baby”. The “Read to Your Baby” project ensures board books are given to children at their 18-month enhanced well-baby visit. During this checkup doctors and health practitioners talk about how important it is for new parents to read with their baby. Parents are then provided with a daily “prescription to read” along with a new board book to share with their child, plus an invitation to get their child a library card.

Funds donated by Telling Tales help purchase these important board books.

“The goal of this project is to help children succeed in life by providing resources and encouraging a love of literacy while developing the emergent literacy skills needed early in life,” explains Kim Burns, Chair of Early Literacy Hamilton.

Enjoying a new book.

Enjoying a new book.

The “Read to Your Baby” program is coordinated by Early Literacy Hamilton, an initiative of the Hamilton Best Start Network. The Hamilton Best Start Network is a community collaborative supporting families by offering a broad range of services for children from birth to 12 years of age that will ensure children receive the best possible opportunities.

Best Start is invested in helping families by providing information about community resources and children’s development on their website with the vision of making Hamilton “the best place to raise a child”. Find out more at Hamilton Best Start.

Photos provided by Early Literacy Hamilton