Thursday, February 14, 2019

Central Library's Diana Prince Begins Baby's First Storybook Program

Diana Prince

About Operation: Baby's First Storybook: Provides patrons who hold a baby shower at the Central Library with a gift bag containing a children's storybook, a thank-you note containing a few facts about the benefits of reading regularly to your child at an early age, a comment card, and a tissue pack with the BPL logo that reads "We Are Champions for Learning."

Diana Prince had a passion for reading as a child, even before she had two daughters of her own. Now Prince is helping spread the joy of reading to young mothers thanks to a new program she calls Operation: Baby's First Storybook.

Prince, an administrative clerk at the Central Library, in early January 2019 began Operation: Baby's First Storybook, a program that offers a free gift bag to patrons who book baby shower at the Central Library. In an interview, Prince talked about how Baby's First Storybook came about.

Williams: What inspired you to do this as a service for BPL patrons?
Prince: I want to encourage early literacy. It really saddens me that so many of our kids are reading below their grade level.

Why is reading to kids at a young age so important?
The younger you can get kids to read, the better. It creates an atmosphere that they will imitate. If they get behind in school by third or fourth grade, it's pretty hard to catch up. With my kids, I always made sure they knew how important reading is.

Why are you so passionate about reading?
Because I love learning and reading a good story. And because there are so many wonderful benefits that are a by-product of regular reading.

What are some of the benefits of reading, even in adulthood?

Strengthens the memory.
Improves writing skills.
Enhances your focus and concentration.
Improves analytical skills.
Expands your vocabulary.

In July 2018, the BPL Board of Trustees awarded you with an I Am BPL Award for your idea of a Readers Ball. What is that program?
The Readers Ball is about celebrating reading and those who love to read. It's a program where I would reward children who are excelling in reading and those who are improving. It's about showing children how important regular reading is and encouraging them to make reading a lifestyle.

Where do you go from here with Operation: Baby's First Storybook and Readers Ball?
I hope the Baby's First Storybook grows and reaches other branches, that way we can reach more babies. The public can help by spreading the word about the program. As for help with the Readers Ball, once I get it up and running, I would greatly appreciate their support in attending the ball and rooting our kids on.

Meet Diana Prince, founder of Operation: Baby's First Storybook program:
Hometown: Birmingham
Education: Parker High School and University of Phoenix (Bachelor's in Business Administration E-Business)
Family: Two daughters, Latrese and Kenyetta; four grandchildren.
Years at BPL: Eight and a half, including the past six and a half years as administrative clerk.

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