FLINT, Michigan — The 1,000th Flint newborn recently received a bundle of books and developmental materials through the “Born to Read” literacy program.
The “Born to Read” bundle includes a canvas bag containing at least two children’s books. It also includes developmental materials, helps parents sign-up for Early On, and offers instructions on receiving free books through the Imagination Library program.
Melody, the daughter of Joy McGee and Delon McGowan, received the 1,000th Born to Read bundle at Hurley Children’s Hospital on Dec. 7, 2018.
Members of the Flint and Genesee Literacy Network are collaborating under the name Flint Kids Read to expand early literacy efforts in Flint. The goal is to provide 100 percent of children in Flint with access to age-appropriate books at home and improve kindergarten readiness through the collaborative efforts of early childhood service providers, educators, libraries, and university and medical communities.
“It’s never too early to read, talk, and sing to kids. Books are brain food, and they help kids grow up to be smart,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, founder and director of †he Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.
Early childhood education and nutrition have been two main focuses of the community response to the Flint Water Crisis. “Born to Read” is a partnership between Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative and Genesee Intermediate School District’s Early On program, with support from the National Basketball Players’ Association.