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“Yes, thank you very much Kiwanis club! We received a bag when I was pregnant with my son. He’s almost 2 now. He loves the books we received and loves reading with us every day. We use the bag as his “school bag” for day care.”

~Comment on LFPress.com

Kiwanis Club Instrumental in support of Prenatal and Infant Literacy Development in London

For almost 4 years, the Kiwanis Club of Forest City-London has been working in partnership with the Child & Youth Network to reach the goal of putting Baby’s Book Bag into the hands of every London family with their first newborn baby.  The bag, a collection of high quality resources, such as board books and a locally made CD of songs and rhymes and information and tools has been developed to promote the value of literacy…right from the start to expectant and new parents in London. 

The Kiwanis Club of Forest City—London has been involved with the Baby’s Book Bag project since the earlier days of planning and development and they continue to play a valuable role today.  In addition to a significant annual contribution of up to $25,000 towards the community-led initiative, this incredible and dedicated Club supports the project through:

  • Providing storage space in a club member’s warehouse for empty bags, skids of books, and boxes of packed bags ready for distribution,
  • Preparing the bags for distribution to our many community partners,
  • Arranging schedules, coordinating volunteers and successfully managing last minute switch ups and changes with little disruption to presentations, and;
  • Meeting expectant parents at Prenatal Health classes to congratulate them on their upcoming arrival, sharing stories about their own babies and giving them a Baby’s Book Bag.

These contributions are integral to the ongoing management and success of Baby’s Book Bag.

In January, Julie Brandl, CYN Literacy Chair and Jennifer Smith, CYN Project Manager for Literacy were invited to participate in a monthly meeting, where Julie was able to share some of our successes with the project and congratulate and thank each of the 44 members who were involved this year for their significant contribution to this collaborative initiative. 

Here are a few of the highlights that were shared that day:

  • In 2012:
    • 1,350 expectant parents at 83 prenatal health classes received the bag with messaging about the value of sharing literacy experiences with babies
    • 81% of first time parents in London got a bag in 2012
    • 35 physicians signed up to distribute Prescription for Literacy and 62 coupons were redeemed
    • Through 3 separate bag packing meetings, the Kiwanis Club of Forest City—London assembled 1,176 bags
  • Over 150 people have been trained to distribute Baby’s Book Bag in the community
  • From late 2011 to present, over 900 bags have been provided to community agencies for distribution to clients and community members they work with

The London Free Press paid a visit to the fall packing meeting to share this fine work with the community.  To see this article, click here:


 Literacy Newsletter Pic Feb 2013