Yesterday I visited my sister in New York to share our baby board book, ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’, with an Early Head Start program. I am super psyched to share our book in such a venue. Why, you ask me? It isn’t a Barnes & Noble. It isn’t a Toys R Us. However, it is the best, most wonderful place to market and share the concept of this baby board books with children and their families.
The Early Head Start National Resource Center wrote a document called The Foundations for School Readiness. As the creator of the concept for the book, ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’, this document supports and further explains the reasoning for this baby board book. It is my intent in this blog to parallel the concepts of ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ with that of Early Head Start programs, so that you might fully understand why speaking with this Early Head Start program means so much to me.
Before I go into listing the connections between the book and Early Head Start, let me also share (before I forget to say this) that I am very passionate about this topic. The most important job we have as adults is to nurture the minds of the very young. Everything we do molds their minds and impacts who he/she becomes. A baby board book like ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ is a tool to build positive character, positive relationships and a love for learning. So now let’s draw the parallels by breaking down the concepts of the book:
1. Builds positive character. ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families published a series of monographs which identified seven characteristics of children who are best prepared to thrive in the school environment (ZERO TO THREE, 1992): Confidence, Curiosity, Intentionality, Self-Control, Relatedness, Capacity to Communicate and Cooperativeness. Through repetition, the book ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’, develops these characteristics. As the parent says, “I am smart,” the infant repeats these words in their own brain and believes he/she is smart, hence, confident.
2. Builds positive relationships. The foundation to everything in life is relationships. Relationships are key. Providing experiences to teach infants and toddlers how to build relationships in a positive way is imperative to success in school and life. The book ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ provides the positive relationship building experiences. As the caregiver holds their infant or toddler and reads this book, the caregiver is speaking kind words with a calm voice, their arms are embracing their child and laughter occurs as the child reacts warmly to real children doing real things.
3. Builds a love for learning. The primary goal of Head Start is to build the emotional foundations for school readiness. The book, ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’, is a tool to be embraced by parents as professionals to make this goal a reality.
Early Head Start is a key partner with ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ in making my vision for all families come true. (Visit Early Head Start at www.ehsnrc.org.) I believe in educating our children before birth and truly value the importance of relationships. I know together we can build a bright future with competent and intelligent children.