To Contact This Program
Therese Laux and Margaret Pavlik
Omaha North High School‚ 4410 North 36 Street
Omaha, NE 68111
Books for Babes is a before-school activity for the 12-15 students enrolled in the teen parenting class at North High School. For this activity‚ teen parents meet with the teacher and the school media specialist before school to learn how to select and read books to their children. The students and teachers meet for 30 minutes every other day. They enjoy breakfast together and discuss the importance of reading to babies‚ how to select books for different age ranges and how to read the books to the children in an interesting and entertaining manner. The teen parents tend to be from families of poverty. Many have done poorly in school themselves and are at risk of dropping out of school. The teen parents are also at risk of perpetuating the poverty cycle for their children without relevant intervention that leads to better education for their children. This program address all these issues in an engaging and fulfilling format.
What is the academic content of this activity?
The primary focus of this activity is early literacy. The teen parents study the effect of reading on intelligence and work to improve their own and their child's language skills in order to become effective readers.
How does this activity create strong relationships?
The teen parents work cooperatively with the teacher and the media specialist‚ both of whom are also parents of young children. Together they have enrolled in additional programs such as "Shake Rattle and Roll‚" another S.M.A.R.T. sponsored activity at North High School.
What opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
The teen parents‚ as parents‚ must make adult decisions on a regular basis. This activity allows them to collaborate with other parents‚ including parents with more background and experience. They are able to follow the examples set by other adults and they receive encouragement from their peers and adult role models for the decisions they make. This activity is tied to a larger program‚ Shake‚ Rattle‚ and Roll.
What student leadership opportunities are there?
The students can enroll in other similar programs that help them improve their parenting skills. They are eligible for scholarships through participation in this program. The students all make materials‚ such as their own storybook‚ to take home to use with their children. Students become leaders by suggesting books to other parents and encouraging students to stay in the program.