Representatives of the region's public libraries, regional politicians, and newborn babies with their mothers gathered at the Cumberland Public Library on April 5 to celebrate the 1,2,3, read with Me/1,2,3. Lis avec moi program.
Every baby born in the Ottawa/Carleton region in the year 2000 is being presented with the cotton book bag filled with information on literacy for the family and containing a certificate good for one free book at the library. The hospitals and midwives of the region are delivering the bags at the time of the birth. The families are then taking their certificates to their closest library to redeem their book.
At the library, the staff introduce the family to the programs in the Children's Department and encourage all family members to become patrons. Studies show that children who have stories read to them from their earliest days do much better in school and become early readers.
The Celebration on April 5 gave the community an opportunity to thank the sponsors, donors, and volunteers who make the program possible. MP Mac Harb and Regional Chair Bob Chiarelli brought greetings from the federal government and the region, while Mr. Merv Sullivan, Nepean city councillor, chaired the event.
Barbara Robertson, program co-ordinator, thanked volunteers from Beta Sigma Phi, students a Rideau, Sir Robert Borden, and Adult high schools, and the volunteers in the four area hospitals which deliver babies. Present at the party were seven newborn babies and their mothers, all active members of their local libraries.
Any parent of a baby born in 2000 who somehow missed their book bag should call their closest library to arrange delivery.
Councillor Merv Sullivan, OPL Chair Tannis Yankewicz, Gloucester Mayor Claudette Cain, and Barbara Herd, program director of the project, cut the cake at the 1,2,3 Celebrate With Me party.