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New mother program's graduation ceremony July 14

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department's Esperanza Para Los Niños/Hope For The Children graduation ceremony and open house are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, in Biery Auditorium at the Health Department, 2400 Troost Ave. Twenty-five participants completed the 18-month program.

The Esperanza Para Los Niños/Hope For The Children program is a partnership between the Health Department and The Family Conservancy, a non-profit social services agency. The program is a home-visiting service designed to enhance and support bonding between first-time mothers and their infants, encourage nutrition and prenatal health care and provide a "coaching-relationship"" to the new mother. Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and by the City of Kansas City, Mo.

"Strengthening the natural bond between mothers, fathers and their infants is critically important in the future development of children in our community," said Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Health Department.

"The Esperanza Para Los Niños program is one of the many services we provide to create brighter futures for children and families," said Betsy Vander Velde, president of The Family Conservancy. "Research shows that investing in a child’s earliest years provides the best outcomes for the child, which also helps strengthen our community."

The ceremony will be moderated by Maria Antonia of KMBC TV-9 and will be in English and Spanish. A catered reception will follow the ceremony.

For more information on Esperanza Para Los Niños/Hope For The Children, visit our Web site at or call (816) 513-6123.

Media inquiries about this topic should be directed to Jeff Hershberger, Health Department, (816) 840-2548 (pager).

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