The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are some of the most important.
Several years ago, I learned of research that explains how the years between pregnancy and a child’s third birthday are critical to a healthy and prosperous future. This is when nutrition, care and learning behaviors have the most profound effects on a child’s development.
That’s why I launched the “What I Can Be from A to Z” book program on my birthday last July. Since then, more than 6,000 books have been distributed to infants and families at UF Health, Baptist, Memorial and St. Vincent’s hospitals, highlighting the importance of early learning and childhood literacy.
Recently, my wife Molly and I joined UF Health CEO Dr. Leon Haley during National Library Week to personally deliver the book, a library card application, and a prescription for reading to newborns and their families. Parents are encouraged to read to their children at least 20 to 30 minutes every night.
It was an awesome experience welcoming Jacksonville’s newest citizens to our great community. I want each and every baby born in our city to know that their city loves and supports their dreams.
Access to books is a critical component to the development of literacy, and our libraries are a key resource for neighborhoods throughout Jacksonville. Each branch offers a variety of materials, programs and offerings that support children and families.
Learn more about children’s programs and offerings at Jacksonville Public Libraries
Our children are Jacksonville’s greatest and most important resource. We all have a vested interest in ensuring they go reach their dreams.