March is Reading Month— When a Community is dedicated to young readers!
In June 2013, a group of business professionals decided to bring a very special program to our community called the Dolly Pardon’s Imagination Library. The donation of $20,000 from a local manufacturer launched the program.
Today, Dolly Pardon’s program spans four countries and mails over 1 million books each month to children around the world. In participating communities, parents can sign up for the program at no cost, to receive a monthly delivery of a book for their child until they are of age to enter kindergarten.
Participating communities demonstrate their dedication to young readers by making donations to fund the program. Local businesses, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and citizens all donate to the program so that the books are sent at no cost to families. 100 percent of the donations go toward the purchase of books.
The program is more than a book give-away for kids. Although that would be a worthy goal on its own, the Imagination Library is designed as a parent involvement program. Each book contains a message to parents suggesting what to do before reading the book, while reading the book, and how to follow up afterwards to extend learning. Research says that parent involvement in their children’s learning is a major factor in school success.
As of February the Wexford Missaukee Imagination Library program has delivered a total of 94,979 books since the program began. Program organizers believe they have almost 60% of the eligible population signed up in the Wexford Missaukee ISD School District.
Currently 2,142 books are being delivered on a monthly basis. That means that the program cost is over $4,000 a month. For this program to be permanently self-sufficient, the endowed portion of the fund would need to be $1,350,000. Until then, they will continue to write grants and ask the community for support.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation houses a Fund for the Wexford Missaukee ISD-Imagination Library. The Foundation administers this fund through the collection of donations and provide fiduciary services. When you make a donation to this Fund, the Foundation can provide a receipt acknowledging your tax-deductible donation to this Fund.
If you would like additional information, or would like to donate to this fund, please feel free to contact me at the Foundation. 231-775-9911.