Babies on Track premieres huge success

Babies on Track premieres huge successAll across Alaska, volunteer hosts rolled out the red carpet to launch the video and distribute free copies of the Babies on Track DVD and companion baby board books. Hospitals, libraries, child care providers, employer groups – even grandpas –scheduled movie premieres during the week of February 25 to March 4 and made plans to gather and inform families.

More than 4,000 video-and-book sets were distributed at 167 premieres in 80 Alaska communities. If you missed a premiere, complete sets of the DVD and baby board books are now available for purchase.

Enjoy a video montage of premieres held around the state.

Here’s a sampling of premiere stories from around the state:

  • From Point Lay came this wonderful story from premiere host Devin Michel: “We did the premiere about two weeks ago and yesterday I was speaking with one of the people who came, a 20 year old man who is raising his 7-month old little brother. He was telling me that he has been talking with the baby a lot more, saying things like “Jake’s shirt” and “this is Jake’s breakfast.” Apparently since he has started doing this, Jake has found his own voice and has been using it a lot. He was showing me a video and the baby, Jake, was just babbling away! It was great to see what someone took from it, that they are actually implementing it, and that it’s helping. This young man has been telling others who didn’t make it to the premiere, about what the video taught and helping those families with their young babies.”
  • At Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, parents reported their takeaways:
    • “I will tell my husband to talk more – despite feeling silly.”
    • “I will share video with grandparents who talk but don’t allow her time to respond.”
    • “I think the eye contact and watching baby and waiting for her to respond were key points for me.”
    • “The DVD reinforced what we already do. It was good info to know we are on the right track.”
    • “The books are great, he loves me talking and reading to him.”
    • “I love that it is good for me to talk and make up stories to the pictures, as I do it all the time.”
  • At thread in Fairbanks, “they liked that the video included Alaska families and that the books were Alaskan also. Discussion about ways to show parents how to use the board books was good. Many are very excited about sets being available later for giving as baby gifts for new parents.”
  • Undeterred by fierce weather – wind chill to 75-below – parents in Point Hope brought out their babies for the premiere – all dressed up for photos, too. Dillingham had the same experience. Despite temperatures hovering at 30-below, more than 130 moms, dads, babies, grandmas, toddlers and siblings came to the elementary school gym.
  • Sitka Babies and Books, Kettleson Memorial Library: “School superintendent attended. We had many families who had never come to any library programs. Turn-out exceeded our expectations! Our publicity was extensive and drew many people in. We had a flyer in Spanish that was hung up at Mexican restaurants, which brought at least one family. At least two families came because of a Facebook page. We also brought “invitations” to all the daycares and preschools, which helped, too.”
  • First United Methodist Church, Fairbanks: “Our group discussed our community after the event – what we like for families, what we don’t like, what we’d like to see more of.”
  • In Unalakleet, they “set the chairs up movie style in front of the big screen and everyone anxiously awaited the viewing of the film. When it started, the noisy room fell quiet, and everyone was enthralled by the film clips of babies and children. They especially enjoyed the Alaska footage because it was so relevant to their own lives. Parents were interested in the brain science information related in the film, and several discussed the film afterward.”
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Base Child Development Center in Kodiak put a premium on making the event convenient and accessible to their families, most of whom are dual-military (i.e. both parents in the military). “We held the premiere in the foyer outside the Infant Room during the time frame that most parents pick up their children. No bells or whistles — just the ability to fit one more thing into their busy days!”

There are many, many more stories. It’s been very apparent that parents, extended families, and communities are enthusiastic and committed to keeping their babies on track.

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