Altrusa Club of New Castle, Indiana - News

'Read Baby, Read': Altrusa Club gives books to babies By KATIE CLONTZ The Courier-Times |

Babies born at Henry County Hospital will get a special gift from the New Castle Altrusa Club —  a Read, Baby Read bundle that includes a board book, a blanket and information about early literacy.

"The main objectives of this project are to expose parents to the importance of early literacy activities and to encourage parents and caregivers to read to their children by providing books for them to own," said local Altrusa member Libby Farling. "The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading which can greatly help them later in life."

Foundation and Altrusa International, Farling said, adding that the purpose of Altrusa International, Inc. is to promote community betterment by an international network of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The New Castle Altrusa Club began in 1941. Currently there are 20 members in the local chapter, who serve the community in a variety of ways, including providing a $1,500 scholarship to one graduating senior girl in Henry County each year.

Farling said Altrusa's main partner in the Read, Baby Read initiative is the New Castle-Henry County Public Library. In addition to books and blankets, new parents also receive information such as book lists and programs available through the local library.

"Children who are surrounded by books in their homes and who are read to during the first years of their lives are much more likely to learn to read on schedule," Farling said. "Reading aloud to children is one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills. Early language skills, the foundation for reading ability and school readiness, are based primarily on language exposure resulting from parents talking to and reading to young children. It is our hope that this project will plant the seed for an interest in reading for Henry County families, leading to the betterment of our community."

Altrusa member and director Linda Kinnett said the Read, Baby Read program was a revitalization of a similar project the group started in the early 90s. At the time, those packets including early literacy materials, books and t-shirts that said, "If you love me, read me a story."

Cheryl Miller, another Altrusa member, said the current program is a way to show support for local parents.

"I'm excited that each book comes with an Altrusa bookplate. It's a way for us to emphasize how important literacy is to our organization, and how important early literacy is to young children and their families. It lets those families know how much we support them," she said.

Monetary donations to support the Read, Baby Read program can be mailed to New Castle Altrusa, PO Box 8, New Castle, IN 47362.


The New Castle Altrusa Club recently began a Read, Baby Read program that gives board books, blankets and early literacy materials to parents of babies born at Henry County Hospital. Pictured is new mom Luishia Mercer and her son, Patrick, along with Altrusans JoAnne McCorkle, Cindy Mackey and Libby Farling.

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The New Castle Indiana Altrusa Club had a wonderful scholarship dinner this week. Congratulations to our five scholarship recipients, and our 5 Altrusa Girls. For the first time, we were able to award a $1,500 scholarship to a girl from EACH Henry County school, instead of just one county wide. This dinner is a favorite of our membership. Giving scholarships is the primary objective of our club.
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