June 18, 2002
MONCTON (CNB) - Family and Community Services (FCS) Minister Joan MacAlpine recently made a commitment to the IODE's Born to Read - Le gout de lire program. The FCS Early Childhood Development program contributed $110,000 to promote early language development and encourage parents to read to their children.
"This is an outstanding example of an innovative community-based program that supports parents in their parenting role, while promoting reading and literacy," MacAlpine said. "I thank the members of the IODE in New Brunswick for developing and initiating the Born to Read - Le gout de lire program."
The Born to Read - Le gout de lire program involves the distribution of kits to the parents of every newborn baby in New Brunswick. The kits are available in both official languages and contain children's books and information about the benefits of reading to children. Many of the books are written by New Brunswick authors.
From left: Diane Lord, honourary spokesperson of Born to Read...Le goût de lire; Family and Community Services Minister Joan MacAlpine, Lt.-Gov. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell and Born to Read ... Le goût de lire members Claudia Richard and Shirley Downey unveil the cheque. (Large photo.)
The IODE program began in 1991 and by 1998, 50 per cent of the parents of newborns received kits. By 2001, the number increased to 85 per cent. This year, the goal is to reach every newborn and their parents in New Brunswick. Last year, government provided $55,000 to this program. The funding has doubled this year for this important initiative.
The money will be used to purchase books and the bags in which they are delivered; print the parenting information booklets that promote early literacy; carry out an evaluation program, and assist the committees with their ongoing work.
"Government is proud to support this program because investing in people is one of the cornerstones of our Prosperity Plan and a quality learning agenda is extremely important to the future of New Brunswick," the minister said. "The Born to Read - Le gout de lire program supports the government vision that early learning and literacy are the keys to ensuring our children are able to go to school ready to learn."
MEDIA CONTACT: Wade Wilson, communications, Family and Community Services, 506-453-2001.