Many of the groups that we initially contacted about literacy concerns became our community partners in the Books for Babies project. We had representation from the Cardston School Division, the Adult Literacy Council, Cardston Municipal Hospital, Chinook Health Unit, Standoff Heath Unit, Cardston Public Library, and Town of Cardston.
The main source of funding for the Cardston Books for Babies family literacy project has been the town of Cardston Family and Community Support Services. Yearly contributions have been provided by the Cardston School Division (now Westwinds Regional School Division) through the Adult Literacy Project, as well as the Native Parent Advisory Committee. The Blood Tribe Counseling Services, in conjunction with the Standoff Health Unit, have provided a Native component to our bookbags in the form of a simplified Blackfoot language coloring book.
Several individual home and school parent associations, community service groups and individual businesses have contributed intermittently to the project. Of special significance to the success of the project is our volunteer contributions. Project coordinators, those involved in the production of the bookbags, those who present the bookbags at the hospital and those who help with follow up and evaluation are all volunteers. This has certainly helped with the financial requirements by keeping the project up and running.
The primary objective of Books for Babies is to contribute to family and community well-being by enhancing literacy development within families beginning at birth and continuing through preschool years, so that each child has a greater opportunity to become a self-directed, lifelong, independent learner. Support objectives include:
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