Fact Sheet - “Precious Minds: Nurturing Literacy in the Early Years”

(17 minutes, VHS format, English and French)

Created by: The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa: Young Children Priority One Committee Recent discoveries have shown that reading to children between the ages of 0 to 3 can help them realize the full potential of their brain.

In the ground breaking report, “Early Years Study”, co-chairs Margaret Norrie McCain and Dr. J. Fraser Mustard concluded that “early child development is as important, if not more important than the periods children spend in education or post-secondary education.” The research reveals that children who are read to when exceptionally young, are more likely to develop a lifelong interest in reading, do well in school, and succeed in adult life.

With the financial support of the National Literacy Secretariat, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Childrens’ Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa has prepared a video which present these exciting discoveries. The intention of the video is to make parents and caregivers aware of the significant benefits created by reading to very young children. The video offers parents and caregivers a wide selection of practical suggestions on ways to nurture early literacy in children.

The video will be made available directly to the general public, as well as through various partnershipsacross North America. The Club plans to distribute 10,000 copies of the video in the first year of release.

Information on the video can be found at http://www.preciousminds.org. Produced by: General Assembly Production Centre (Nepean), Script: Christopher Sarson Director : Bob Callaghan, Actors: Real life families from the Ottawa-Carleton and Western Quebec Regions, Special Guest Appearances: Dr. Fraser Mustard and Mary Gordon Distribution Partners: Success By 6 (Ottawa Carleton Region), Canadian Institute of Child Health (National), Kiwanis Clubs (International)

Video Cost: $10.95 Canadian, volume and dealer discounts available. Includes instructional guide Target Audience: Parents and custodians of young children (0-3 years), caregivers, pediatricians, hospitals, children health professional groups, parenting classes, libraries, literacy organizations, daycare centres.

Contact information: Derek Finley[mailto:info@preciousminds.org] Campaign Coordinator.

Previous Video Products: The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa has previously released the very successful video “Never Shake a Baby: What parents and caregiver need to know”. This video has been used across North America to alert parents and caregivers to the issues and dangers involved in shaking a baby. Over 10,000 copies have been sold to date.

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is celebrating 85 years of active fund raising and community involvement as a not-for-profit organization. The largest Kiwanis Club in Canada, the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is one of the most active and dynamic service clubs in the world. Each year the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa returns $500,000 to the local community. One of the 8,400 Clubs in Kiwanis International, the Club has met every Friday since 1917 at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa.

Other projects carried on by Kiwanis in the Ottawa area include the Kiwanis Duck Race for Tiny Hearts, the “Never Shake a Baby” educational video, and the “Reading is Fundamental” project running at Connaught Public School.