Born to Read program marks NWRC 40th year

North West Regional College is celebrating its 40th anniversary year and a program initiated in 1992 is being revived to help celebrate it.

The program is called Born to Read. The idea is to provide a board book and accompanying bag to every baby born within the region served by North West Regional College, including the hospitals in North Battleford and Meadow Lake.

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The initiative is being revived for this year only as a way to celebrate the anniversary year. It was announced at a launch event at NWRC Friday, an event attended by Mayor Ian Hamilton, MLA Herb Cox and Ann McArthur, from the college’s board of governors.

Tavia Laliberte, president and CEO of North West Regional College, told reporters the college has been focused on getting people ready for the economy “which is really important and the bulk of the work that we do at the college.”

“But as we were thinking of ways to celebrate our 40 years, it was an opportunity to be reminded ourselves that a lot of that work and a lot of that ability to feed the economy starts at a really early age, starts with literacy. So it was a chance to bring back some of the family literacy programs that we’ve successfully done in the past.”

The book is called Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns by Richard Van Camp. It includes plenty of pictures and Laliberte describes it as something caregivers can read with their babies.

“It’s just got a really nice story in it about joy and it’s kind of a lullaby so it’s a bit of a poem with lots of pictures,” said Laliberte.

So far, she said, the reaction has been positive. Caregivers were “really excited” to receive the book and share it with their babies.

Pamela Plummer, nursing manager of BUH Women’s Health and Birthing Unit, Prairie North Health Region, confirmed the enthusiastic reaction from the recipients.

“I’ve been around to the moms who have gotten them —moms and the dads — and they absolutely love the book,” Plummer said.

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