A programme designed to improve bonding between newborn babies and their families is been launched in Northland this week.
A programme designed to improve bonding between newborn babies and their families is being launched in Northland on Wednesday (10 October) in Memorial Hall, Memorial Drive, Kaikohe at 10:30am.
Two of New Zealands' sports heros will be helping to launch Books for Babies in Northland. Blacksticks player and mother, Alana Millington, who has recently returned from the London 2012 Olympics, and Chris Huriwai, world champion unicyclist, will be at the launch to read to local babies.
Storytime Foundation Chief Executive Tony Culliney says the Books for Babies programme encourages families to bond with their newborn children through reading books together. “Real moments of magic can occur when cuddling and playing with a young child. Reading is a great way to help build a loving, caring relationship between parents and children, something that’s vitally important to a child’s health and development".
“Along with Plunket and other well child/tamariki ora providers we will be giving books to newborn babies across Northland. The vast majority of the families have never had the resources to read to their babies. These books will give them the chance to experience the joy that reading to small children can bring to the whole family,” he says.
Plunket Northland Area Manager, Diane Lawson, says Plunket sees nine out of ten babies born in New Zealand and is uniquely placed to help support and deliver the Books for Babies programme. In northland the programme is a cooperative venture involving the Storytime Foundation, Plunket, Ngati Hine Health Trust, Manaia Health PHO, Te Hauora o Te Hiku o te Ika and Te Ha Oranga, as well as libraries and local and national funders.
“We’re always looking for new ways to work with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life", Diane says. "Research shows that children introduced to books as babies not only have increased literacy, but experience better health as they grow up. This just seemed a natural fit for us”.
Books for Babies was first introduced in Auckland in 1997 and since then over 60,000 books have been delivered to families with newborn children. It’s been such a huge success that the Storytime Foundation is expanding the programme into Northland.
The first communities to receive the programme, which is being rolled out over the next six months include Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Kawakawa and parts of Whangarei.
“It costs $50 for each child to complete the programme and we currently have enough funding to start the Northland programme with 300 families. Over the next six months or so, we hope to secure further funding allowing us to expand the programme across the Northland region”, Tony says.
The Tindall Foundation Trustees and staff look forward to the progress of the programme in Northland, and are happy to see so many organisations in collaboration with each other through this initiative.
Northland Books for Babies launch
Wednesday 10 October 2012 at 10:30am, Memorial Hall, Memorial Drive, Kaikohe
How does the programme work?
The programme is targeted to families that front line staff from Plunket and other Well Child providers have identified could benefit from the programme. They assess each family to see if they have books in the home or if the family uses a local library. If the family doesn't have access to children’s books their child is enrolled immediately and they receive quality new books, totally free of charge, as a personal gift.
For more information, visit http://www.storytime.org.nz or contact Tony Culliney, Chief Executive, Storytime Foundation, 021 552 800, email@example.com or Nikki Hooper, Plunket External Communications Executive, 021 405 842, firstname.lastname@example.org