Center looks to start education early

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 16, 1999

Rosalyn Robb, the new mother of a seven-week-old, thinks its already time to began educating her baby.

&uot;I want what’s best for her,&uot; Robb said.

So this week, she received her first visit from employees with Natchez-Adams County School’s Parent Center.

Email newsletter signup

The new program, known as Early Learning Parent Involvement, gives new mothers tips to prepare their newborns for school.

&uot;What we are really trying to do is get an early start with the parents,&uot; said Lorene Mock, Parent’s Center Coordinator. &uot;Education really starts before (children) get to Kindergarten.&uot;

Robb and her daughter, Teighlor, are the first mother and baby, the Parent’s Center has visited.

The program stresses that parents need to talk and read with their babies constantly.

&uot;We are emphasizing reading at an early age and showing (babies) pictures of various colors,&uot; Mock told Robb. &uot;We want you to read to her. We want her to be a life-long learner.&uot;

A newborn is already laying down groundwork for reading and speaking, Mock said.

&uot;In the early stages we think baby’s may not understand, Mock said.

But even during infancy, newborns need mental stimulation to create &uot;growth-spurts&uot; in their brains, she added.

&uot;Overwork stresses a brain cell. Boredom is fatal to it,&uot;&160;said a brochure about the program. &uot;In the absence of proper stimulation, a brain cell will die. Offer it a steady diet of enriched experiences and it will grow.&uot;

Mock and Robb both think Teighlor is off to a good start.

&uot;I have been reading to her anyway,&uot; Mock said. &uot;When I was pregnant I read to her in the womb.&uot;

The Parents Center compiled data on early-brain development with the help of former board member, Robert McGee.

&uot;The information that he brought was invaluable,&uot;&160;Mock said.

This information was then put into a booklet to be given to the parents.

Adams County parents can receive the data by calling the school district. They can also do like Robb did, and sign-up at the hospital after giving birth to Teighlor.

&uot;We do want you to promote education with (Teighlor) because we are in the education business,&uot; Mock told Robb. &uot;You will be amazed at the things they can pick up.&uot;

The center plans to devote most of its energy to first-time mothers but each parent who takes part will receive at least one visit. Parents will also receive ideas for activities to do with their child.

The Parent’s Center will follow-up with regular phone calls and newsletters but it is not meant to replace regular medical-care, Mock added.