Best Beginnings is recruiting hosts for “100 Premieres” to be held Feb. 11-19, 2012. The 100 Premieres will be hosted all over Alaska to introduce Babies on Track, a 14-minute DVD for parents plus two companion baby board books: Our Alaska Family (baby faces) and Let’s Talk Alaska! (Alaska objects). Using delightful images of Alaska babies on location around the state, the video and books foster early learning and healthy brain development with everyday activities at home.
All told, 7,500 sets of the DVD and board books will be distributed free throughout Alaska to families with children under 2 years of age.
Premieres can be held anywhere families of young children gather, such as Imagination Library family events, local library lapsits, Early Head Start family programs – even private homes. The premiere may be a special event or part of a regularly scheduled meeting. The target audience is families with children under 2 years. For more information about hosting a premiere, go to BestBeginningsAlaska.org.
Hosts’ responsibilities include organizing and publicizing the event. Every premiere will include showing the video; distributing the free baby books; modeling fun, brain-building activities for children; and helping parents write postcards to their legislators about the importance of early learning. Premiere hosts will receive free sets of the books and DVD ahead of time as well as a helpful host packet with step-by-step instructions and materials.
The premieres are an opportunity to share the importance of early learning. They will bring reading materials to Alaska’s youngest babies, allow parents of young children to gather and exchange ideas, and gather support for early learning through advocacy.
The fundamental principle behind Babies on Track is that the baby brain grows more in its earliest years – before 3 years old – than at any other time in human life. It’s also the time when language is taking shape in their brains. Talk, conversation, singing, and other forms of interaction are critical in this period. The video introduces a simple model families can follow in their own interactions with their babies:
T = Talk
R = Respond
A = Ask Questions
C = Connect
K = Keep at it
S = Sing and Tell Stories
The more parents talk with their babies and children – the more conversation and interaction that occur – the easier it is for the baby to pick up language later. They have larger vocabularies, and they’re ready for kindergarten by age 5.
The Babies on Track books were made possible by grants from the Alaska Children’s Trust, The CIRI Foundation, and ConocoPhillips Alaska. The DVD was supported by contributions from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Both are productions of Affinityfilms, Inc.
Best Beginnings is a nonprofit advocate for early learning in Alaska. It is a statewide umbrella for Imagination Library, promotes and supports local early childhood partnerships, and produces and distributes materials and information for early learning.