Niagara Falls partnership starts literacy outreach at birth - The Buffalo News

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Niagara Falls partnership starts literacy outreach at birth

NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara Falls City Schools and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical will be reaching out to students earlier than ever before – welcoming the Class of 2035 shortly after their birth.

Every baby born at the hospital in 2017 will receive a "Baby Wolverines Welcome Packet," with a bib featuring the Niagara Falls School logo proclaiming each new arrival as a member of the class of 2035. Also included are baby items including a teething ring, book, bottle and information for parents about early literacy and prekindergarten programs.

"Our main goal is to establish relationships with families right from the start," said Superintendent Mark Laurrie, who added that the program also serves as a reminder that it is never too early to start reading to your child.

This sentiment is echoed in a bookmark in the welcome packet from the Niagara Falls Library. It reads, "There's no app to replace your lap. Read to your baby."

Tips on car seat safety also are provided by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffalo applauded the school district for its efforts, noting that the single basic skill that best prepares young people for success is reading.

Laurrie said the preschool years can have an impact on what happens in a child's future education.

"Give your children a love of learning right from the start and you will have a very valuable gift," said Laurrie, in announcing the program.

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