Spring Hill, FL (October 15, 2021) The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties,
Inc. (PHELC) launches LOVING START, a new early literacy initiative that will kick-off in Hernando County with Bayfront Baby Place in Spring Hill. PHELC partnered with Free Spirit Publishing for
the selection of the book Cuddle by Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lsoviskis, which is part of the publisher’s Happy Healthy Baby Series. This series of books supports new moms in their journey to build language development and relationships from birth.
On Friday, October 15, 2021, the Coalition “Kicks-off” Loving Start with a donation 500 Cuddle books to Bayfront Baby Place which will be distributed to new moms, supported by their Labor and Delivery department. “Providing access to resources that support healthy babies and families is a priority for us,” said CJ Hamilton, Chief Administrative Officer at Bayfront Health Spring Hill. “The Baby Place is excited about a partnership that provides an opportunity for early learning,” added Hamilton.
Early literacy improves language skills and prepares young children for school. Since 2005, the
Early Learning Coalition supports high-quality education for children ages 0-5 in Pasco and
Hernando Counties with School Readiness and VPK services. “We are grateful to partner with
Bayfront Baby Place who sees the value of prioritizing children’s literacy in Hernando County
and together we can advance this early literacy initiative. We are excited to be a part of
encouraging a parent-child’s bond with their first book, Cuddle!” said Dr. Steve Knobl, PHELC
Executive Director. “The Coalition’s Loving Start program serves to support new mothers in
their journey to building language development and positive relationships with their child. This book-sharing experience may very well be their child’s earliest memory of loving to read.”
explained, Sherri Sabadishin, PHELC Early Literacy Specialist.
Why early literacy for infants and toddlers? “When you share books with your very young child you support emerging literacy as you: help your child learn that pictures and words are symbols that can be interpreted; expose your child to new words and thereby increasing their
Loving Start operates under PHELC, a 501c3 organization. For more information on how you can help to expand our literacy commitment, please contact Sherri Sabadishin, Early Literacy
Specialist at 727-233-8291.
About the Coalition: The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties, Inc. is a 501c3 organization and one of 30 Early Learning Coalitions in Florida. Florida’s Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program is for all children who are four-years old on or before September 1. School Readiness provides subsidized childcare for low-to- moderate income working families. The nonprofit serves over 12,000 children between infancy and twelve-years old, working with more than 300 childcare providers in both counties.
About Bayfront Health Spring Hill
Bayfront Health Spring Hill (opened 1991) is a 124-bed Joint Commission accredited acute care facility. The Bayfront Baby Place at Bayfront Health Spring Hill features a Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Bayfront Health Spring Hill offers care throughout pregnancy, through birth and postpartum care. Additionally, we offer extensive women’s services for all ages. If you’re one of more than five million Americans suffering from non-healing wounds, we offer wound care and hyperbaric medicine programs, using technology to help heal wounds. Other services offered include general surgery, ENT (ear, nose & throat), plastic surgery, urology and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy rehab centers. Bayfront Health Spring Hill is designated as an Accredited Chest Pain Center and Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center.