The Books for Babies Program began in 2003 by Winters Friends of the Library (WFOL) members Susan Swenson and Joan Brenchley. It started from a desire to welcome each new baby born into the Winters community with the tools to begin a lifetime of reading. The goal is that these Books for Babies gift boxes will get the newest Winters residents off to a great start by promoting the benefits and joys of reading.
Books for Babies gift boxes are available in both English and Spanish, and are provided for any infant up to 2 years old. These gift boxes contain the following;
- Two new baby-appropriate books
- A baby sized WFOL t-shirt
- A hand-knitted hat provided by the senior knitters
- A one-year gift membership to WOFL for the family
- An application for a Winters Library card
- Brochures and additional information on reading tips, the importance of reading to infants, additional book suggestions, information on early eye exams for infants, and other services available in the County to support families.
Reading to your young children is the most valuable thing you can do to help develop early reading and cognitive skills, language comprehension, vocabulary, and writing abilities. Reading allows children, even infants, to begin imprinting words and their meanings—any time a baby sees, hears, or feels anything, brain connections form.
Developing these language and visual connections early in children allow them to get a head start years before they begin preschool or kindergarten, and can spark a life-long love of reading and learning.
Books also allow parents to begin teaching their children words and information that would not come up in common, every-day life. While speaking to babies is very important, reading helps broaden what parents can teach in a simple way, and provides the opportunity to introduce language in a deeper, more complex way than normal conversations can provide.
The target audience for these gift boxes is babies two and under, and while we try and provide these boxes to all babes within their first six months, we need the community’s support to help find them.
WFOL finds these babies through word-of-mouth, newspaper birth announcements, a display in the local health care office, and our volunteers who encounter new mothers around town or at community events. You may have already seen our dedicated volunteer Carol Scianna approaching new mothers in town.
How Can You Help?
If you or someone you know has had a baby recently, please contact coordinator Carol Scianna at (530) 795-2201, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sharing is Caring
After receiving your box, you can help spread the love of literacy and the news about this program by taking a photo of your baby in the t-shirt and with their new books.
Post your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #booksforbabies and #wfol
For additional information, please contact coordinator Carol Scianna at (530) 795-2201, or by email at email@example.com.