New parents encouraged to promote books

October 12, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Parents get lots of tips on feeding and caring for their newborn by the time they leave the hospital.

But isn't that a little early to worry about the children reading? Not so, says a group of teachers at Mount Airy Elementary School who have prepared a packet to help new parents foster a love of books in their babies.

Principal Althea Miller and the School Improvement Team, comprised of teachers, a parent and the cafeteria manager, came up with the idea and delivered fliers to Carroll County General Hospital. The flier will be given to parents of all babies born there -- more than 600 a year.

With the flier comes a coupon for 20 percent off the price of any children's book at Locust Books in Westminster. The team is trying to do the same for Frederick County, but still has not found a Frederick-area book store willing to provide the discount, said teacher Cindy Compton.

The flier urges parents to start reading to their children by at least the baby's ninth month of life, to give books as gifts, set good examples by reading themselves and by limiting television viewing.

The flier also suggests activities and exercises that can motivate and prepare a child for reading skills.

Although preschoolers can't read, they can be encouraged to develop a love for books and stories, Ms. Compton said.

"It's not too early to start before they come to school," Ms. Compton said. "By then, it's really too late."

Gill Chamblin, director of public relations at Carroll County General, said the hospital was delighted when the Mount Airy teachers approached them with the idea.

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