Go and Grow Starter Packs Will Provide Important Resources for New Parents and their Babies
January 14, 2016, Belle Haven, VA — The three Rotary Clubs of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and regional Rotary District 7600 joined forces in a strong show of support for the children of the Eastern Shore of Virginia on Thursday evening by presenting a combined grant totaling $9,011 to Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore (SBES) for it’s Go and Grow Starter Pack Project. The project will provide the five hundred new parents giving birth at Riverside Shore Memorial with diaper bags containing useful infant care items, developmentally appropriate children’s books and information about infant development from birth to one year. Parents will also receive a copy of the SBES Directory of Early Childhood Resources, which lists a wide variety of resources on the Eastern Shore for parents of young children.
According to SBES Chair, Linda Schulz: “Decades of research has shown the importance and effectiveness of starting quality developmental and school readiness efforts as early as possible to enhance the prospects for success in school and in life. And of course parents are the foundation of children’s developmental trajectory. We are excited that Rotary is partnering with us in this effort to provide important support and guidance for parents from the first few days of their child’s life.”
New parents will leave the hospital with a brand new diaper bag filled with important information about how they can promote their child’s health and development from the start, including a directory of early childhood services. Nurses will receive training on how to present and explain the materials, which will be available in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole.
It is estimated that about one in three of Virginia’s students enter school without the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in kindergarten. Perhaps the most pervasive and significant risk factor is poverty, which research shows is a key issue negatively impacting young children’s school readiness and children’s success in school and life.
SBES Consulting Coordinator Roberta Newman explains: “All parents want the best for their children. But, as the saying goes, children do not come with an instruction manual. The purpose of the Go and Grow Starter Pack is to help parents understand and promote early health and cognitive, social emotional and physical development and encourage parents to interact with, talk to and read to their babies. All this will help children’s readiness for school by age 5.”
On behalf of Rotary, Area Governor Bill Payne states: “I am pleased that our Rotary District 7600, which includes over 60 clubs in Central and Southeast Virginia, recognized how important it was to join our three local clubs in support of the children of the Eastern Shore. Accomack and Northampton Counties are among the poorest in Virginia, and our children face even greater challenges associated with these increased risk factors.”
The Parent Engagement Committee of SBES developing this project consists of local early childhood experts from Riverside Shore Memorial, Eastern District Health Department, Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Parents-Infant Program on the Shore (PIPS/Rehabilitation Services), Head Start, Migrant Head Start, PNC Bank, The Planning Council, Eastern Shore Community College, Northampton and Accomack County Departments of Social Services. Members from all three Eastern Shore-based Rotary Clubs are either active members of SBES Leadership Council or affiliated with the organizations represented on the Committee.
Rotary International is a service organization whose purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Cape Charles Rotary Club, Exmore Rotary Club and Onancock Rotary Clubs are the three Eastern Shore of Virginia members of Rotary International District 7600. To learn more about Rotary, visit www.Rotary.org.
About Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore:
Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore’s (SBES) mission is to improve access to quality early services that promote the health, wellbeing and school readiness of all children 0-5 on the Eastern Shore.
To learn more about Smart Beginnings, visit www.smartbeginnings.org.
Roberta Newman, Consulting Coordinator
757-331-0777 or Email: SBESVA@gmail.com
Eastern Shore Area Governor, Rotary District 7600
757-331-4047 or firstname.lastname@example.org