In 2018, Lake County preschoolers received 1,746 free books mailed directly to their home by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, thanks to the Friends of Lake County Library, the 93.5 The Goose, and dozens of local businesses, organizations, and individuals. As of December 31, 2018, over 200 Lake County kids were registered for the program, which mails a free, age-appropriate book per month to children under 5. Parents can register their children at any time at their local library or online at imaginationlibrary.com.
The Imagination Library is free to every Lake County child under 5 no matter their income. The goal of the program is to inspire a love of reading, which is a key indicator of future school success. Parents are encouraged to register their preschooler today to bring home the benefits of reading together.
Studies have shown that when parents read to their children, kindergarten readiness improves. Parents reading to their children from birth can have lifelong positive benefits. The Imagination Library puts books directly into children’s homes, and research has shown significant positive benefits for children in the program.
“We are very proud of the success of our first year in the program,” said Shelley Batty, Friends Imagination Library Committee member. “We have already registered over 60% of Lake County children for the program – a level most communities do not reach for several years. Our high registration and the amount of financial support we’ve received from local people and organizations really shows Lake County’s strong commitment to education in action.”
The program costs local sponsors $25 per child annually. If all eligible preschoolers registered, the program would cost over $8,000 per year. Fortunately, an Oregon family foundation will cover half of the local costs for the first three years. The Friends’ are over halfway to their goal of beginning each year with two years’ full operating costs in the fund. If you would like to support the program, stop by your local library and make a donation or mail a check to Friends of Lake County Library at 26 South G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630.
Questions about the program may be directed to your local library or Amy Hutchinson, Library Director, at 541-947-6019.