RLS is a United Way of Hall County initiative that is helping Hall County parents,students, and young children from birth to 5 years old come up to speed in the critical language and reading activities appropriate for their ages.
As Hall county children begin well-baby visits at the pediatricians office, United Way is committed to having age appropriate books provided and prescribed through the child’s pediatrician at each of the visits. Beginning with the 6 month visit until the child is 5 years old. United Way of Hall County is partnering with The Longstreet Clinic as we begin this initiative. Our goal is that children enter pre-k and kindergarten ready to learn with daily exposure to books and interactive conversation.
Starting from birth, the parents of each child born at Northeast Georgia Health Systems In Hall County Hall County are now receiving the children’s book, Welcome to the World. Created as a collaboration between United Way’s Read Learn Succeed Initiative and Northeast Georgia Health Systems, the book teaches parents and caregivers the importance of reading to a child every day for at least 15 minutes. It’s also designed as a keepsake for families, giving them space to record important memories such as names of providers caring for them at the hospital and a place for the baby’s first footprints.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Ruth Demby received both her Bachelor of Science in English Education and Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She also received a Master of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Demby served as Chaplain and Counselor at Brenau University and as a Chaplain with Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center before entering into her current role at First Baptist Church Gainesville as an Associate Pastor of Missions and Outreach.
While coordinating the Missions and Outreach Programs at First Baptist Church, Demby developed a new outreach program called Promising Futures. Promising Futures is an afterschool and summer program that provides recreation, life skills, cultural enrichment, spirituals formation, tutoring and support in college and scholarship applications for children prekindergarten to high school. In five years, she has spearheaded the growth of this program to include 80 children and more than 50 adult and youth volunteers.
“I see this opportunity to marry my current work at First Baptist in a localized forum to create real change in the lives of children in our community. In my experiences in missions, outreach and education I have often thought to myself, ‘if I just could have reached this child just a little bit sooner,’ and Read Learn Succeed is our opportunity to do just that. I have seen firsthand that when a parent learns what kind of interactions, what kind of activities and what kind of parenting raises persevering, curious and caring children, they can raise resilient children who have a promising future.”
– Ruth Demby, Read Learn Succeed program coordinator for United Way of Hall County