Kenai River Rotary president Sandra Ghormley presents KPC Literacy Program coordinator Diane Taylor, Thelma Musgrove, and Mary Bell with a $3,000 check to support the Read to Baby program.
There is evidence that reading out loud to your baby promotes healthy emotional relationships between parents/caregivers and young children. Research shows that babies who were read to regularly starting at six months had a 40% increase in receptive vocabulary by the time they were eighteen months of age. Babies in the study who were not read to had only a 16% increase in receptive vocabulary. For several years Diane Taylor at Kenai Peninsula College has headed up the Read to your Baby project as part of the colleges overall Literacy Program, “We deliver bags to the new moms in the hospital that contain a board book, information on how to turn your TV off and read out loud to your baby, and other materials that encourage parents and caregivers to promote literacy from infancy on up,” said Taylor.
According to Taylor demand for the Read to your Baby Bags has been increasing over the years and the program has been able to keep up with the demand in part due to funding from the new Kenai River-Soldotna Rotary Club. “Rotary worldwide promotes literacy, and even before our club was chartered last year we raised over $1,000 to help support the Read to your Baby program as one of our first club projects, and this year through our fund raising efforts such as our From China with Fun community event we were able raise enough to fully fund the program this year in the amount of $3, 000,” Club president Shandra Ghormley told the Dispatch.
Additionally says Taylor the Literacy Program at KPC helps people in the local community earn their High School Equivalency Diploma or GED, as well as offering classes that teach English as a second language and classes that assist with general literacy skills that include everything from turning on a computer to filling out a job application. For more information about the KPC Literacy Program or the Read to your Baby project, contact Diane Taylor at the KPC Kenai River Campus at 262-0330. To learn more about the activities of the Kenai River-Soldotna Rotary Club contact Sandra Ghormley 283-2374.
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