UW Health provides free child development kits

The kit giveaway hopes to promote better brain function and physical strength in children as they grow.
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Studies show development in a child at an early age is crucial and if neglected, can negatively impact their future.

UW Health and Alignment Rockford’s goal is to provide a way for parents and guardians to be a part of their child’s physical and mental growth; that’s the idea behind a “brain building” kit, inspired by Boston Basics.

“It’s a great bonding between parents and their child,” said Ehren Jarrett, Rockford’s Public Schools superintendent. “It’s also unbelievably exciting what brain research says about what can happen developmentally by doing those I think mostly fun, positive activities.”

“Ready to learn with the basics” is a kit designed to encourage healthy and proper emotional, physical, social and intellectual development. It has activity books, handouts, a list of phone apps to support language and literacy, as well as materials that can connect a child with their parent. The organization says that the connection between parent and child is crucial throughout adolescence.

“Parents want to have a great bond with their child. They want their child to learn at high levels, they want their child to learn in a stable environment, and these are just some tools that parents can use to do what they already want to do. Which is connect deeply with their child,” said Jarrett.

The money for these brain-building kits came from a $500,000 grant. Rockford is one of just three communities in Illinois awarded this Children’s Community Parenting Support grant.

“Immediately connecting with families and connecting them to the tremendous expertise that exist right at the birth process. I think that is a different view to approach things. At the end of the day, the sooner we start the better and the easier we make it the better,” he said.

These free kits are available to everyone in the community. For more information visit Alignment Rockford’s website.