Books For Babies

Rather than produce a printed christmas card this year (2008), the London Office has made a donation to the Books- For- Babies program in the British Virgin Islands.

Books- For- Babies is an ongoing project which the British Virgin Islands Reading Council (BVIRC) started in 2001 in collaboration with Peebles Hospital.

The idea behind this was that a book and a pamphlet would be placed in a small bag and be presented to each new mother before she left the hospital with her new baby.

The purpose was, and still is, to encourage each mother to begin to read to her baby as early as possible.

The BVIRC, an affiliate of the International Reading Association (IRA), is dedicated to fostering the love of reading and developing “lifelong readers.” We are aware that the earlier we start children on the way to becoming a lifelong reader, the better chance there is for this to happen. The book that is given at this time is the first of the many books that the new mother will read to her child. Done on a regular basis, this habit is meant to be transmitted to the child as he/she grows up.

In addition to the book, a pamphlet has been specially prepared for the mother (father too) providing her with ideas and suggested activities which she can use with her baby to start him/her off on the right path to being a “lifelong reader.”

These include:
• Reasons why it is important to read to your baby
• How to read aloud
• Easy steps for sharing this book and other books with your baby
• Ideas which you can keep on using in your daily life schedule
• How to use the television wisely
• Creating a reading environment
• Some reading suggestions-Book titles

As a non-profit organization, the BVIRC is, for the most part, dependent upon donations. Unfortunately, with insufficient funds, the project is not as vibrant as formerly. However, we strongly feel that now, more than ever, it is vitally important for us to continue doing all we can to help start our children off successfully. We remind parents that it is those students who succeed best at reading who do best at school so we encourage them to start the reading habit, early.

For more information about the Books-for-Babies Program, please contact booksforbabies@bvi.org.uk.