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Butte Literacy Council to present “Books for Babies” Dec. 29 at Enloe
CHICO, Calif., Dec. 23, 2008 – The Butte Literacy Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting literacy, will present 85 books to Enloe Medical Center on Dec. 29 that are intended for families welcoming babies in 2009.
Each year the Butte Literacy Council sponsors its “Books for Babies” program to encourage early reading to infants. As part of this effort, Kimberlee Wheeler, a member of the Butte Literacy Council, and Laura Mendonca, Vice Chair of Butte Literacy Council, will be on hand to present the books for distribution to families welcoming babies in January. The presentation will take place at Enloe Medical Center’s Mother & Baby Care Center, on the hospital’s main campus at West 5th Avenue and Esplanade, on Monday, Dec. 29 at 10 a.m.
Since 1989, the Butte Literacy Council has been dedicated to promoting literacy throughout Butte County. In addition to “Books for Babies,” the Council also sponsors volunteer community readers, juvenile hall books, an annual read-a-thon and a short-story contest.
An estimated 93 million Americans are functioning at the “basic” and “below basic” literacy levels, according to the December 2005 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). Adult functioning at a “below basic” level can perform only the simplest literacy tasks such as signing a form. They are likely to be living in poverty and unable to actively participate in their children’s education. This is especially poignant when considering that a key indicator of a child’s academic achievement is the educational attainment of his or her primary caregiver.
In California, roughly 10.3 million people struggle with basic reading and writing skills. The NAAL defines adult literacy as “a person’s ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve goals, and to develop knowledge and potential.”
According to Carey Gross, Butte County Library’s Literacy Specialist, free confidential services are available through the library for adults interested in improving their basic skills. Also, the Chico Branch Library now offers story times on Wednesday mornings designed especially for babies age 18 months and under and their "favorite adult." Similar activities will also be offered in the Gridley, Oroville and Paradise Branches early in 2009. For more information, visit www.buttecounty.net/bclibrary/.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.