June 2006 Recipients
Auckland City babes will benefit from an educational initiative thanks to a grant from the Mazda Foundation.
The Books for Babes Trust is an initiative set up to stimulate parent and child relationships, form special bonds and increase literacy and set up skills for life.
The Auckland City initiative raises funds for the purchase of books which are distributed to homes where children do not always have access to books.
Each year it aims to raise $40,000 which goes towards buying books. The generous $5,000 donation from Mazda in its October round of funding has been translated into more than 500 books in homes.
“We are over the moon as the grant will buy a lot of books! We are so grateful, it is amazing! If it wasn’t for organisations like the Mazda Foundation we would fall to pieces,” says Books for Babes Trust administrator Liz Patterson.
The books are purchased by the Trust and with the help of Auckland District Health Board visiting therapists, Public Health nurses and Plunket nurses, five titles are delivered to a deserving family over a 12 month period.
As well as providing youngsters and their families with necessary learning resources, Books for Babes aims to stimulate parent and child relationships by promoting the value of reading to children.
Books for Babes caters for the 0-2 year age group – a crucial age in which the bond between mother and child is vital for future stability of the family.
Auckland City Libraries assist by ascertaining books that are most appropriate for different age groups and books are available in a range of widely spoken languages, second to English.
“It is about finding out what the needs are of the family and seeing if they have books or not,” says Liz.
“There has been so much research about how important it is to read to under five year olds. Spending time with a child a doing things together is very important.”
However, it’s not just children that benefit from the programme.
“We find there are more books in the home at the end of the 12 month period – not just for the children but also for adults,” says Liz.