March is Reading Month
Literacy is one of the most fundamental skills necessary for a successful future. Reading plays a critical role in a child’s cognitive growth and development. Data has shown that learning to read at a young age can increase a student’s ability to remember facts, comprehend information and be successful in both school and a career.
In 2013, our local Imagination Library was founded as a collaborative effort between charitable business owners, philanthropic donors, the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District, the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce and the Cadillac Area Community Foundation.
This Program, which resides at the Wexford-Missaukee ISD, provides one age-appropriate book per month to every enrolled child in Wexford and Missaukee County, from birth to age five. The Dolly Parton Foundation “Imagination Library” offers their assistance by determining which books are age appropriate; and sending them to the family’s homes straight from their facility. This is all done at no charge to the book recipients.
A Fund was opened at the Cadillac Area Community Foundation so that caring community members, charitable Foundations, and generous businesses could make gifts for this program to provide the books for the children. This program is 100% funded by donations and grants, and 100% of the funds go towards the program.
In September 2018, Wexford Missaukee County United Way offered to match $1 for every $1 raised by our local Imaginary Library Advisory Committee over the next six months, up to a maximum of $30,000. Once that challenge was issued it was boots on the ground; the committee was committed to raising the money for the match.
Through promotions, grants, donations, matches, birthday pledges, annual charitable giving, and celebrity server nights the match was met before the March deadline. Your Foundation was able to award a grant of $5000 for the Imagination Library match, from the Helen & Harvey Pell Fund for Education. The Cadillac Area Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee, and the Rotary Interact Club of Cadillac High School, were able to raise over $500 toward the match by working as Celebrity Servers at Culvers.
The $30,000 match was raised, and our local Imagination Library Program has received a total of $60,000 to help insure that our local young children have the educatiojnal advantages that come with being young readers.
Thank you to all of the donors, and the Wexford-Missaukee United Way. You truly do make the difference!