Baby Steps: Literacy Program Geared Towards New Hispanic Mothers

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DALLAS -- Science shows babies’ brains are twice as active as an adult brain. The first three years are especially important in the development of a baby's learning.

That's something the Dallas Public Library, Parkland Hospital and local author Trish Holland know very well.

They're teaming up to put literacy in the hands of new Hispanic moms and newborns with Books for Dallas Babies initiative -- giving new moms who deliver at Parkland a bilingual book called "Read to Me" or "Vamos a Leer."

"If we could get this book that had this enriching language out the mothers and give them the education that they're the first teacher, we could do some really good things," said Trish Holland.

Holland says the idea came after she heard about Hispanic kids falling behind in school due to lack of developmental tools, like books.

That's when the Dallas Public Library and Parkland Hospital stepped in. Did we mention 10,000 babies were born at Parkland last year?

"That's a lot of books in the hands of new moms and a new generation of children who will hopefully be learners and be excited about reading and really be able to thrive," said Jasmine Africawala of the Dallas Public Library.

The book was written by Judi Moreillon, a professor at Texas Woman's University and is written in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

"It’s a beautiful book called "Read to Me," and it's a lovely poem written from the prospective of a child," said Kate Park of the Friends of Dallas Public Library.

There might not be a manual on how to take care of babies, but with books like this, parents can make sure their babies have a head start in life!