DURHAM, April 23, 2002) - New Hampshire Public Television has received a $4,758 grant from the Northern New Hampshire Foundation to support the Ready To Learn First Book initiative in northern New Hampshire. The First Book project works through its partners-existing community-based agencies and mentoring programs- to provide free books to children who, for various reasons, have little or no access to reading material. In 2001, more than 11,000 free First Books were provided to New Hampshire children and families. "Being a First Book partner is a truly valuable resource," according to Rachel Jarosz, executive director of Families Matter in Carroll County Resource and Referral. "The program has encouraged the development of the literacy component of our playgroups immensely. It has been rewarding to watch children become excited about choosing a book of their own, show it off to their playmates, and bring the book to read to their parents."In addition to distributing First Books, NHPTV's Ready To Learn program conducts workshops and Family Math, Science, and Writing Nights. The program also distributes NHPTV's For Families newsletter to daycare providers, workshops and conferences, as well as PBS Families magazine (including a Spanish language edition) through its community partners.NHPTV's Ready To Learn goals for 2002-2003 include distributing at least 3,840 books to North Country families. There also will be two Ready To Learn workshops for parents, teachers and caregivers to promote literacy, the learning triangle (view, read, do), and good parenting skills. In addition, plans are being made for a "Between the Lions" literacy event in which children, families, teachers and caregivers will celebrate and promote reading.The Northern New Hampshire Foundation, a regional division of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, was established in 1985 to build a permanent endowment for the North Country through gifts from individuals, families, corporations and organizations. Earnings from the endowment are used to make grants and loans to nonprofit organizations serving the region and for scholarship awards to area residents.New Hampshire Public Television's Ready To Learn community partners are: North Country Education Foundation, Child Care Services, Gorham; The Whole Village Family Resource Center, Plymouth; Family Resource Center, Gorham; Family Connections, Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Littleton; SAU 35, Kindergarten Program, Littleton; Groveton Head Start; Families Matter in Carroll County Resource and Referral, Center Ossipee; NH Reads AmeriCorps Program, Littleton Region; Partners in Health, Littleton; Preschool Storytime, Gorham; and Conway Area Head Start. More information on NHPTV's Ready To Learn program is available at www.nhptv.org.NHPTV airs programs that entertain, educate and enrich on analog channels 11 in Durham, 15 in Hanover, 18 in Pittsburg, 49 in Littleton, 52 in Keene and digital channel 57 in Durham.Beyond its award-winning local and national television programs, NHPTV provides instructional services for 220,000 students from kindergarten through high school; offers Ready To Learn programs for children, preschool to age 12; and provides professional development programs and advanced technology training for parents, educators and child-care providers in New Hampshire and neighboring states. For more information about NHPTV programs that entertain, educate and enrich, visit www.nhptv.org.
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