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Library, Healthy Kids team for BabyTalk program

The Greenville-Butler Co. Public Library and Healthy Kids have partnered together to offer BabyTalk Mommie and Me starting in February.

BabyTalk is and is part of Healthy Kids. The program helps empower parents as their children’s first teacher by giving them the tools, skills and confidence they need to work with their children in the home.

The program was designed to bring families, organizations and communities together. Parents (caregivers) and children (infants- 4 year olds) can participate in a BabyTalk or Hippy Plus Activity and story time.

“BabyTalk uses developmentally appropriate activities to build parent (caregiver) and child relationships, increase brain development and physical growth, says Susan Lowman from Healthy Kids.

The opportunity for this partnership was well received, said Library Director Kevin Pearcey. The Library is beginning its own early literacy program “Rhythm Sticks Music & Story Time” on Tuesdays as well.

BabyTalk Mommie & Me will be held on the first and third Tuesdays. Rhythm Sticks Music & Storytime will be on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of every month, said Pearcey.

All programs start at 10:30 a.m. and will last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The programs are for babies to four year olds. 

“We like that we have continuity there and that there will always be something going on Tuesdays at the Library for parents and their toddlers to attend,” said Pearcey. 

Dr. Carolyn Foil is coordinating BabyTalk. A longtime educator, Foil said she saw firsthand the need for parents to become actively involved in their children’s education at an early age.

“Many times it is simply because parents do not know how to help their children,” she said. “Research has found that if parents will spend regular time with their child is simple learning tasks made fun, the parent as teacher link will be established and have positive effects on the child even into high school. Each time we meet we will provide parents with ideas to play with and read to their child. These activities are designed to prepare the child for kindergarten and set the tone for the parent/child adventure into learning for many years to come.”

Pearcey agreed.

“Early literacy is incredibly important in the development of a child,” said Pearcey. “These programs will be fun, stimulating, yet very educational for early learners and include everything from music to puppets and, of course, books.”

All programs are free. Dates in February are: BabyTalk Mommie and Me (Feb. 7), Rhythm Sticks Music & Storytime (Feb. 14), BabyTalk Mommie & Me  (Feb. 21), Rhythm Sticks Music & Storytime (Feb. 28).