New literacy program just for babies

DeKALB – The DeKalb Public Library, in partnership with 4C: Community Coordinated Child Care, announces a new program, Book Babies, specifically for babies from birth to 24 months old.

The program will run every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., with a second program in Spanish every other Thursday at 10 a.m. The first half of the 30-minute program will be led by an early childhood facilitator with the aid of an intern from the Northern Illinois University Literacy Clinic, who will incorporate music, movements, and stories into the program. This will be followed by play time with developmental toys and a chance to interact with the babies and other caregivers.

There is no registration necessary for these free events. This program was in the works for many months, but funding had been an obstacle. With the help of 4-C, DeKalb School District 428, DeKalb Township and the Friends of the DeKalb Public Library, funding was provided to start this program beginning July 9.

Recently, the value of interacting and reading to infants has come into the spotlight. The American Academy of Pediatrics announced  a new policy to recommend to families to read together “as a daily fun family activity.” Reading aloud to infants, as well as talking and singing, enhances their vocabulary and other important communication skills. The  partners involved in this new program see the crucial benefits for these young children and will be providing the means to launch this new venture.

Another focus of Book Babies will be to reach at-risk infants and families. Studies have shown that children from families with low incomes are not exposed to reading before entering a social child care setting. This program will be a way to introduce literacy to the infants and to the caregivers in a neutral environment with professionals on-hand for advice or questions.

For more information about this program, contact Theresa Winterbauer at theresaw@dkpl.org or Marti Brown at marthab@dkpl.org or call 815-756-9568 ext. 250.

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