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Broome County Promotes Literacy Skills With Baby's First Book Program

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Broome County is investing in literacy for the next generation. Broome County Executive Jason Garnar and SUNY Broome Community College's Literacy Legacy Project partnered up to launch the Baby's First Book Program. As of March 1st, all babies born in UHS Wilson Hospital and Lourdes Hospital will receive a copy of Baby Cakes by Karma Wilson; their first book.

Funding for the program was approved in the 2018 county budget. The program intends to help children in Broome County get a head start on their literacy skills from the day that they're born.

"So, when children hear loving words, when children are read to, it creates a  mind set for them that life has multiple possibilities, that it's endless, and when they believe, when they believe that they can do things, they will be more successful in life" says Lisa Strahley, Chairperson of Teacher Education and Early Childhood Program.

Strahley says the book delivers the message to the families that they should share more loving interactions with their children during early childhood development. To create the program, the county partnered with the Children's Reading Connection, SUNY Broome's Center for Civic Engagement, UHS, Lourdes Hospital, Staples and the Susquehanna River Region of 2-1-1.