KIDS 2000 - Tomorrow’s Brainchild

With every sight, sound and touch a baby's brain develops its architecture and parents and other adults can contribute immeasurably to the building process. Early childhood experiences actually create this architecture or neuron connection in the brain. The new discoveries in brain research are a wake -up call for adults everywhere.

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is undertaking a project to produce a 20-30 minute video on the early childhood years. Given recent developments in brain research and the discovery that the kind of person a child will become - from IQ to aptitude to personality - is largely determined by the youngster's early experiences. The video will seek to inform and motivate parents and other adults (such as early childhood educators and health care practitioners) to work actively and effectively with children in their care.

The focus of the Kiwanis video will be Emergent Literacy in Young Children. The learning of language is one of the most important activities during the early years. Language is critical for communication and is a basis for the long term success and happiness of the child.

The objectives of the Kiwanis Video project are: 1. To inform parents and other adults about the importance of the early years based on discoveries from current brain research; 2. To provide general information about the importance during the first three years of life of (a) bonding and attachment; (b) health and nutrition; and (c) building self-esteem in the overall development of a young child. A happy, healthy and confident child is more ready to learn language. 3. Based on a child's overall development, to discuss early communication (verbal and non-verbal) and emergent literacy. Specific strategies, ideas and activities will be given which parents and other adults can use to promote communication and language development during the early years.

We have formed an Advisory Board of credible practitioners in child development from education, pediatrics, neurology, social services and related fields . The Advisory Board is holding its inaugural meeting in Ottawa on October 29, 1999 to determine key messages, contents and general specifications for the video.

The Early Literacy Project Committee is actively seeking funding for the video. We are interested in your input. Please give us your comments and suggestions for the pro-posed video by visiting our discussion website: http:// familyliteracy.ottawakiwanis.org (to access the site you need the password and username) or by calling me directly.

Sam Bhargava Project Developer and Chair of our Young Children - Priority One Committee Phone 834-3647