Name: Jane Andrew of Severna Park
Volunteer work: Jane Andrew was one of three county residents recently honored at the J. C. Penney Golden Rule Volunteer Awards ceremony held at Martin's West in Baltimore.
Mrs. Andrew was recognized for her work in founding Baby's First Step, a program that promotes adults reading to infants and toddlers.
A county resident all her life and a member of the Board of Education from 1983 to 1989, Mrs. Andrew believes in the importance of getting preschoolers interested in reading. One way of doing that, she said, is to have adults spend time with them on a regular basis, reading aloud.
Mrs. Andrew developed Baby's First Step over a period of about six months. In January 1992, she began mailing reading packets to all new mothers who register birth information with the county executive's office.
The packets include a new child's book; factual information on why, how and what to read to young children; a brochure on the use of the library and a coupon that allows adults to acquire a second children's book for free at a county library.
Recognizing the value of this effort, the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council integrated Mrs. Andrew's program into its organization, offering her support and funding to continue the work.
She now directs the mailing of about 190 free reading packets to new county mothers each month and encourages parents to begin reading to children as early as infancy.
Mrs. Andrew also works with parents in Project Independence at the Work Force Development Center in Glen Burnie. There, she meets with adults and emphasizes the need for them to read to their children. She also has been involved with reading initiatives at Benfield Elementary School.
Volunteer's comment: "This really is exciting to me," she says of Baby's First Step. "I'm certain and convinced this has changed lives."
Organization's comment: Judy Mooney, a volunteer and tutor for the Anne Arundel Literacy Council, says Mrs. Andrew "has spent endless hours working with personnel of various county agencies and organizations to provide children's books to new mothers."
To recommend someone for the "Volunteer Spotlight" call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911 or 1-800-829-8000, Ext. 8911, any time or fax nominations to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun For Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena 21122.