imagination 2

Have you heard of The Imagination Library? It was started in 1995 by the Dollywood Foundation and it sends 1 age appropriate book to a child every month for the first 5 years of their lives. That is 60 FREE books per child! This program is coming to Hancock County (where we live!) in 2016.

This is the kind of program I dreamed of as a child. I can picture all the children that will be a part of this program, their sweet anticipation as the mail comes every day, hoping for a new book to read (THEIR very own book) and a new adventure to escape on.

In Hancock County last year, 28% of children in kindergarten fell below literacy standards. This program could foster a love of reading for children.

Here are some impacts found by communities who already have Imagination Library:

  • Children begin school with book handling skills and an understanding of letter and word concepts.
  • In addition to these skills, those such as math scores and cognitive skills are significantly improved with participation in Imagination Library.
  • Closing the “language gap” before age 5 is vital for reading success in school. A child’s brain grows to 80% of its adult size by age three, creating a critical window of opportunity for learning words and language.
  • Reading experiences shared by children from diverse backgrounds upon entering kindergarten can “level the playing field” and help them develop socialization skills.
  • Participants outperform non-participants on kindergarten literacy assessments.

Hancock County Community Foundation is asking for help in their fundraising during the week of November 9th-11th (NOW!). Thanks to a grant from Lilly Endowment, every $1 donated during this week will be matched with .50 (from a pool of $100,000). The goal is to raise $2 million dollars over a 5 year period which would allow 3,500 children to receive 12 books a year, over their first 5 years of life.

If you feel led to donate, please go here (from now until 4pm on the 11th, click the blue button that says donate now and then click the train at the bottom of the circle):

If you decide to donate and have any questions please ask me! And if you do donate, please let me know, I would love to thank you personally. And in case you don’t let me know, please understand that I (and all the children who will benefit from this program) am so grateful for your donation! Please share this post with your friends and family to get the word out!