Increased interactive time between parents and newborn children can help develop young minds, leading to positive educational outcomes for the children, and even a reduction in poverty.
That’s the goal of Growing Little Minds, a project founded by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Steve Love, president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. Both agree that brain development during the first 12 months is the most critical.
The program is a joint project of the city of Dallas and the 88 member hospitals of the DFW Hospital Council.
D Healthcare Daily reported that the program provides free information about brain development in infants, and is provided through a website and different social media platforms. The site has recommended activities for children from newborn to 12 months.
“This is all about providing information to families,” said Patty Miller, owner of The Power of Nurturing Care LLC and an adviser at UT Dallas’ Center for Children and Families.
Statistics show that by starting at a young age, it is possible to improve educational outcomes and employment rates, and reduce poverty rates, the article said.
Love said his organization invested $125,000 in the program, and that a Dallas marketing company, local legal and accounting firms, and hospitals also ponied up $15,000 for the effort.
Rawlings said he believes that the program could lower the poverty rate in Dallas.
“The issue of poverty is a generational one,” Rawlings said. “If we really want to deal with it, we have to start this young.”
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