Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mentor Library, Lake Health team to help new parents and create new readers

Nichole Luzar shows a board book to her newborn, Lylah Kitchen. Mentor Public Library and Lake Health have partnered for the Born to Read program, which provides a free board book, bib and feeding spoon to new parents.
A life of learning and literacy doesn’t begin when a child (or adult) starts reading. It begins when someone reads to the child.

Creating young readers has long been one of Mentor Public Library’s goals. Now it has teamed with Lake Health for a new program called Born to Read that encourages early literacy.

“The Born to Read partnership is an opportunity to congratulate new parents and introduce our early-literary services for a new generation of readers,” said Lynn Hawkins, MPL’s executive director.

With Born to Read, the parents of every infant born at Lake Health TriPoint Medical Center will receive a bookmark.

They can take that bookmark to the Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch and receive a free Born to Read bag with a bib, feeder and board book for the newborn child.

“Reading creates a special bonding experience that parents can start even when the child is an infant. It helps build a language rich environment that enhances the child’s speech and development,” said Lake Health pediatrician, Dr. Laura Cifra-Bean.

“Early literacy is important to Mentor Public Library,” Hawkins added. “As one of our strategic-plan service responses, we want make sure kids start reading early and keep learning their entire lives.”

The board books are from Scholastic’s Baby Faces series, specifically because newborns until their fourth month are especially attracted to faces and images of faces.

The Born to Read program would not be possible without the support of generous donors, Hawkins said. Lake Health donated the feeders, and Friends of the Mentor Public Library and other anonymous donors paid for the bags, books and bibs.

The library encourages early literacy other ways, also. It hosts story times for children of all ages, including toddlers, preschoolers and whole families.

For more information, call the Mentor Public Library at (440) 255-8811 ext. 213.

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