Garvin County young children and their parents are benefitting in numerous ways, thanks to Chesapeake Energy and Smart Start South Central. Through a $15,000 grant awarded by Chesapeake, Smart Start South Central is implementing several different early literacy and parent education programs.
Smart Start South Central has provided parenting resource books, DVDs, CD's and pamphlets for a Family Education Center at the Nora Sparks Warren Library in Pauls Valley, and another at the Lindsay Community Library. Materials worth approximately $500 have been distributed to each site. Parents may check out any of the materials that they wish. Topics ranging from a healthy home environment, appropriate discipline, and fun activities for parents and children are included in the collections.
Trish Little (from left), Smart Start coordinator; Cindy Roe, ARNP; and Melissa Busby, executive director of the South Central Medical Resource Center, display some of the literacy books donated by Smart Start South Central. Children under 5 who visit the center will receive a book to take home. Smart Start South Central, based at East Central University, is an Oklahoma early childhood initiative.
Funding from Chesapeake also included the opportunity for Smart Start South Central to buy books for each child care center in Garvin County. Age-appropriate titles such as Goodnight, Moon and A Wild Cowboy are included in these board and hardback books. Early literacy is one of Smart Start Oklahoma's goals, and more books in the hands of young children and their parents is one way to help.
The Garvin County Health Department also received approximately 500 books to distribute to their young clients. As children under the age of 5 come into the health department, or are visited in their homes by a department worker, they will be given a book for them to keep as their own. The South Central Medical Clinic in Lindsay has also received books to distribute.
"Exposure to early literacy in young children is vital to improving school readiness," said Trish Little, community coordinator of Smart Start South Central. "We are excited about partnering with Chesapeake to offer these books for the children, as well as providing the Family Education Centers to the families of Garvin County."
Smart Start South Central is housed in the Center of Continuing Education and Community Services at East Central University. For more information about Smart Start and the benefits it offers, contact Trish Little at 580-559-5367.
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