Bienville Parish Library began its community literacy outreach program, Library Babies, in mid-March 2021. The BPL Library Babies program is designed to encourage parents with newborns up to 24-months and toddlers, ages 3 to 5 years of age to read to their children. The mission of the program is to provide materials that will help parents engage in developmentally appropriate literacy activities with their babies. Parents are a critical part of the developmental equation. Babies need human stimuli. They naturally seek out faces and would rather listen to speech or singing than any other kind of sound.
Reading aloud to babies is an ideal form of stimulation because it engages visual, auditory, interactive, and attention processes in a pleasurable setting. Babies who are read to and are engaged in lots of verbal interaction show superior language (and math) skills when compared to children who are not as verbally engaged.
BPL’s Partnership with BPL Health Unit
The Bienville Parish Library has partnered with the Bienville Parish Health Unit/WIC Clinic. The Nurse Case Managers work closely with their clients and determine how and when the kits are presented to parents. A few minutes of conversation with the new parents, emphasizing that it is crucial to talk to and read to their babies in order to activate the learning process, will make parents aware of their important role in exposing their child to books and reading.
The BPL Library Babies Bags
Fully-assembled bags that are available introduce parents to the Bienville Parish Library and include an invitation to visit their neighborhood library to take advantage of all the resources that are available. The bags feature a variety of brochures with reading tips and early literacy information from nationally-recognized educational organizations.
- Mom/Newborn (newborn to 24-months of age) Bag
Selection of board books to read to their child which become a permanent part of their child’s book collection.
- Toddler/Pre-K (Ages 3,4, and 5 years) Bag
Selection of books geared for older children for parents to read to their child which can become a permanent part of their child’s book collection.
Check out all our online resources by visiting our website bienvillelibrary.org. For more information on the Library Babies Literacy Outreach Program, or any of the other services available at the Bienville Parish Library, please call (318) 263-7410, or visit your neighborhood Bienville Parish Library branch.
About the WIC Program
WIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children (under 5 years old). WIC provides nutritious foods, nutrition information, breastfeeding promotion, breastfeeding support and referrals to other health and social services. The foods provided may include infant formula, infant fruits/vegetables and infant cereal, adult cereals low in sugar and high in iron, as well as milk, cheese, juice, eggs, peanut butter or dried beans/peas, whole grains, canned fish and fresh fruits and vegetables.
For more information about the Bienville Parish Health Unit WIC Clinic, located at 1285 Pine Street in Arcadia, Louisiana, call (318) 263-2125.
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