This major project will serve 10,000 babies and their families, giving them greater access to health, wellness, and support with early childhood cognitive and emotional development which impact children the rest of their lives. The primary goal of the TDI 10,000 Babies project is to launch a series of pilots in two major cities, (New York City and Richmond, CA), throughout the state of Delaware and several rural areas in America...
10,000 Babies is designed to support expectant mothers and newborns to age three in the five boroughs of NYC: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, specifically focusing on the bottom 10% income earners. The aim is to help pregnant mothers understand the importance of nutritious living for the best care and health for themselves and their babies. Paid life coaches taken from a national pool of volunteers, purposefully trained, help mothers through their pregnancy with home visits three times weekly.
The coaches help mothers prepare for delivery of full term, full birth weight, healthy babies and they continue consistent visits and support for mothers post delivery, supporting healthy living and early childhood development. Coaches are there equipping new moms with the necessary tools for implementing crucial neuro-science informed engagement with their baby in order to support proper early brain development, especially the first three years of baby’s life.
With the help of Google, a Data Center is in the works to register and track the progress and challenges faced within these pilot programs. A national focus will engage colleges and universities, foundations, major non profits, sport franchises, (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) and corporations committed to community engagement to find the best coaches. Coaches will be paid, trained and asked to commit to a year of national service in support of the poorest Americans suffering from higher incidences of maternal death and infant mortality. Our goal is to reduce the death rates for both mother and child with the best interventions.
Telling one mother's story...Together we can make a difference
Meeting the mother of an energetic two year old threw me off. I knew she had been a long term foster child. She had delivered her baby boy weeks after she had timed out of foster care at her 18th birthday. Had a new non-profit not offered her a room and an address, her baby boy would have been taken away at birth and put up for foster care and adoption. Having an address gave this new mother a home to take her baby to. This mom had been struggling to get her GED, work some hours each week, while jumpstarting life on her own.
Her son had no books, had no letters or numbers or puzzles. His mother loved him dearly, but she never had intentional early childhood education herself, but had instead been born drug addicted enduring very difficult early months of life. This young woman told me how committed she was to avoiding alcohol and drugs so she could protect her baby and keep him from the foster care system. I praised her warmly and asked her if she liked to sing with her son since he was beating a drum and a plastic guitar. “He doesn’t have words yet,” she told me. “I know they will come, but now he only says ‘no’ and ‘ouch.’”
University of Kansas research has proven that babies in lowest income families hear 30 million fewer words in their first three years of life than kids from middle and upper income families. The poorest kids are overwhelmed and totally unprepared for pre-school and kindergarten. (85% never recover, but fail and drop out of school, and many end up in prison.) The poorest Americans also live up to 20 fewer years than middle and upper income adults.
10,000 Babies is designed to stop this disastrous fate. A Family Life Coach working for 10,000 Babies should have been available to this young mom-foster care child during her pregnancy and the first three years of her little son’s life. Meeting together three times a week, mom and her trained life coach would have created a strong relationship, helping mom through GED tests, sharing important information about her body and spirit as she makes a healthy baby, and discussing nutritious options about food, drink, exercise and sleep. The life coach slowly becomes a caring friend of mother and baby up to and through delivery.
Three times weekly visits after the baby’s birth assures that the new mom gets special care and even extra sleep in the earliest months of motherhood. The Coach advises on how to talk and read to the baby at a few weeks old, how to build knowledge of how infant brains develop and what mothers can do to help that development. 10,000 Babies is committed to building a stronger life for both mother and baby.
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