It's never to early to nourish a love for reading. By spring 2010, over 8,000 Alaska children from birth to age 5 were receiving free children's books in the mail -- every month. It began with Dolly Parton in Tennessee and has flowered in Alaska through the work of Best Beginnings
, "Alaska's Early Childhood Investment." It begins with the first book for every child (The Little Engine that Could
) and ends with each child's fifth birthday and Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!
In between are 12 brand new, age appropriate, highly regarded children's books every month.
National statistics have shown that 60% of kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not own a single book. Fourth graders with fewer than ten books in their home had lower average reading scores than their peers with more.
University of Alaska Anchorage researchers Drs. Hilary Seitz and Robert Capuozzo did a study of Imagination Library
in the communities of Anchorage, Angoon, Fairbanks, Nome, and Seward. With families that had not yet participated in Imagination Library:
With families that had not yet participated in Imagination Library:
- Almost 25% have ten or fewer children's books in the home
- More than 14% say their children are only somewhat or not at all enthusiastic about books and reading
Contrast this with the Imagination Library families, where:
- 94% have more than 20 children's books in the home
- Over 80% report their children as very enthusiastic about books and reading
Free books for kids -- it's as simple as that. Find out how Alaskan kids are receiving free books through the Imagination Library here...