September 10, 2004

Contacts: Angela Heisel 272-3651

                 Bridgid Isworth 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Newborn babies at the University of New Mexico Hospital were welcomed into the world Wednesday, September 8, with a tiny T-shirt and message reading, "Please read me!" printed on the front.

As part of National Family Literacy Day, the Albuquerque Journal's literacy program, Newspapers in Education, gave 65 T-shirts to newborns at UNMH as well as Presbyterian Hospital and Northeast Heights Medical Center.

Dianne Campbell from Newspapers in Education said that purpose of the day was to help publicize to parents that reading to their children from a young age is very important. "There are studies that show children who are read to at a young age have developed greater skills later on."  

More specifically, Campbell said that newspapers provide children with a variety of reading materials that are different from textbooks.

"By being engaged with different material in the newspaper and being exposed to various styles of writing, children develop into more adapted members of society."

National Family Literacy Days are celebrated around the country annually.