LEWISTOWN - It is never too early to get books in the hands of children, and local educators are reaching children as early as the day they're born.
In celebration of American Education Week, the Association of Mifflin County Educators is giving books to the parents of any child born between Nov. 11 and 17 at Lewistown Hospital. Each family will receive a copy of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Eric Carle.
"It's a very colorful book, and it focuses on color recognition and animal recognition," Nancy Aurand, third grade teacher at Lewistown Elementary School, said.
Photo submitted by NANCY AURAND
Rebecca Filson, a teacher at Lewistown Elementary School and member of the Association of Mifflin County Educators, reads ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ by Eric Carle to her first grade class.
The book is written in poetry form and is a favorite of primary readers, she added. Every copy will include a bookplate which reads, "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
Stacey Osborne, patient care director of the maternity department at the hospital, said the book will be one of a number of gifts offered to new parents. Discharge packets include samples and coupons from a variety of companies, as well as a keepsake bracelet and unofficial certificate of birth.
She said the book donation is appreciated by hospital staff and parents alike.
"It's never too early to start (reading to your child)," Osborne said.
Aurand said local educators have been funding the project for several years and believe that early intervention improves the lives of children.
"When parents read to their children, it teaches the children that reading is important and it's used in all parts of life," she said. "Children that are better readers are better students."
American Education Week continues through Saturday.