Parents of young children today can be overwhelmed by the plethora of information available to them on virtually every aspect of child development and being a parent. When my children were babies, 40 years ago, my friends and I had Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care and each other. Sometimes we asked our mothers for advice.
Here at Best Beginnings we were sure there was a way we could help parents cut through all the parenting “noise” and provide not too much and not too little information, but just enough. So we decided to ask Alaska parents what they wanted to know about child development, especially early literacy and language development, and how they wanted to get that information.
Parents told us they were looking for activities they could do with their children at home and they preferred receiving information via email. This helped us design an e-newsletter delivered right to parents’ email inboxes once a week.
During the first eight weeks, parents learn about what’s called the Alaska Developmental Profile, a tool teachers use to assess every child entering their kindergarten classrooms. They discover how they can help prepare their child for kindergarten, starting right now – whether their baby is two months old or 4. Every week, links are provided to age-appropriate activities on Best Beginnings’ website. (Activities in Spanish and Yup’ik can also be downloaded from the website!)
There’s a different topic each month – for example, read every day, persistence, and storytimes. Along with simple, easy-to-do ideas for activities to do with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, you’ll find recommendations for books on the topic – and the books are available at your local library or through the statewide library system. Samantha Blanquart, an Early Literacy Outreach Librarian with Ready to Read Resource Center selects the books and tells a little about the book to help parents check out those they think their child will like.
What do parents think about the parent newsletter?
“I like that the information is pertinent to my family and our local area.”
“I appreciate that the topics were picked through research to help support a child and family prepare for kindergarten. There are many things children need to learn, with these topics it was reassuring to see the milestone my child has already achieved.”
“I could read them in the small amount of free time I have in the day! Plus the links to more information for when I had more time.”
Can anyone subscribe to the parent newsletter? Yes, indeed! Click here to sign up.
You can check out the content for back issues here.