LAFAYETTE, La. – Believing that every child is born ready to learn, staff members from the Picard Center delivered "Born to Read" baskets to babies born at Lafayette General Medical Center on June 21, 2011. This activity was conducted as part of United Way of Acadiana's Annual "Day of Action."

Staff members compiled baskets that contained:

  • baby's first book, "The Little Engine That Could;"
  • baby music CDs;
  • building blocks;
  • information on early childhood education, development, and nutrition;
  • and other educational infant toys.

The baskets also contained a registration form for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program, administered through United Way of Acadiana. Imagination Library is an early literacy program designed to bring children's books into the homes of families with children birth through 5 years of age. Each month, the child receives a brand-new, age-appropriate book through the mail.

"The Picard Center focused on the ‘education' component of United Way's building blocks of education, earnings, and essentials," noted Dr. Holly Howat, Project Director of Education Research and Evaluation at the Picard Center. "Every day, we see research that confirms how important it is to get children engaged and learning from birth, and it was nice to visit Lafayette General to live and encourage that. These new parents now have all of the materials to get their newborns on the road to reading, exploring and learning."

About The Picard Center
The Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning is a research center comprising a multidisciplinary group of evaluation and research professionals who focus on early childhood, K-12 education, school-based health, poverty's effects on families, and lifelong learning. As an integral part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's research mission, the Center provides high-quality, rigorous evaluations of programs that are implemented to address learning from birth through adulthood. Applied research is continually conducted in all areas of education, health, and well-being to ensure a prosperous and healthy future for all of Louisiana's children.

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