February 01, 2005

Crapo Delivers Books To Parent Education Program

Family Advocate Program in Boise to distribute books to local parents

Boise, Idaho - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo delivered over 150 books today to Boiseâ??s Family Advocate Program as part of his ongoing support of literacy and early childhood education. The agency, which provides voluntary, home-based parent education services, will use the books during home visits.â??We are just thrilled to have Senator Crapo deliver these books,â?? said Susan Hazelton, executive director of the agency. â??When we visit families, we often explain to them the importance of reading to their children for brain and literacy development, even while they are still in infancy.â??Senator Crapo agreed. â??When we distributed books at another event, I had children tell me that this is the very first book theyâ??d ever owned.â?? Crapoâ??s office has delivered more than 100,000 books through several book distribution programs including First Book National Book Bank, DisneyHand, and surplus from the U.S. Library of Congress. â??We use the opportunity with the Library of Congress perhaps more heavily than other Senators I know, but it is so great to help programs like Family Advocate out whenever possible, with whatever resources are available.â??Family Advocate Program, established in Boise in 1978, offers the Parents as Teachers curriculum to the public for free. The program emphasizes that parents are the first and best teachers of their children. â??Parents have more impact on preparing their child for educational success in the first five years of life than any other person will,â?? said Pat Stephens, director of the parent education program. â??Our goal is to provide them with proven information to help them be great parents.â??The books may also be used as part of the Reach Out and Read program, which puts volunteers in doctorâ??s offices to read to children in the waiting room. The program also teaches health care providers to offer support in childrenâ??s language and literacy development at well-child exams from 6 months to 5 years old. Childrenâ??s books are given away during these exams.About the Family Advocate ProgramThe Family Advocate Program works to get abused children out of danger and into safe homes and partners with parents to build strong families. It is the parent agency for two programs:§The CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program recruits, trains and supervises citizen volunteers to serve as Guardians ad Litem for abused and neglected children. §The Families First program is a voluntary home-based parent education program. Parent educators visit families at home with lessons on child development, nutrition, health care, and effective parenting skills. People interested in the Family Advocate Program should call 345-3344 or visit the website at www.familyadvocate.org.# # #