Infants and toddlers will
receive free books through Imagination Library
The Lake Stevens Education Foundation (LSEF) teamed up with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, The United Way and the Boeing Company to bring this program into the hands of local children and provide parents the opportunity to be able to read new, hard cover books to their kids.
Since its inception in 1996, Imagination Library has mailed out over 12 million books to children all over the country.
“The program brings thousands of books into our community and thousand of hours of reading time for the children,” LSEF President Terri Spencer said. “Parents are children’s first and most important teachers and reading 20 minutes a day develops healthy emotional bonds, builds vocabulary, and promotes school readiness.”
The floor of the Community Center was filled to capacity with kids and their parents sitting outside on the grass. It almost looked like a ride at Disneyland with stroller parking and excited children waiting to be entertained.
Event organizers were excited and surprised by the high volume turnout.
“It’s so amazing,” Katrina Ondracek, Director of Public Policy and Community Initiatives for the United Way said. “We are so excited. It’s great that people are so excited about this and they’re turning out in record numbers.”
Borders Books collected donations for over 1,300 children’s books and gave them to the United Way for children to receive when they signed up for the Imagination Library Program.
Mom Angela Pelton-Ingram was on hand with her two children, a two and a half year old and her six month old, both signing up for free books.
“It’s great for Lake Stevens to offer this in our community to encourage parents to keep reading to our kids,” she said.
It is the hope of LSEF that every child entering Kindergarten will be prepared to learn and grow.
“Our goal is to have all children in the Lake Stevens School District ready for Kindergarten when they start school. Our community is recognized for our excellent education system and this program adds a new level of commitment,” Spencer said.
The good news is that if you missed the sign-ups last week, you can still get enrolled in the program by picking up registra tion forms from the Lake Stevens Library, Lake Stevens Family Center, Lake Stevens Books, Haggen’s, Dr. Tracy Delorm’s office, Main Street Coffee, the City of Lake Stevens or the Lake Stevens School District. The LSEF will hold more kick-off events in the fall.
The Lake Stevens Education Foundation was hopeful of getting 700 kids to sign-up. However, it looks as though that number will not only be met but passed very quickly.
“The Imagination Library is a gift to our community, this is a fabulous opportunity for the children of Lake Stevens to build their own personal library, develop a love of reading and help to insure their success upon entering school,” LSEF Vice-President Leslie Elsemore said.
Other local supporters include the Lake Stevens/Granite Falls Rotary, Academic Beginnings for Children, the Lake Stevens School District and Sno-Isle Libraries.
“We’re hoping to sustain this program forever,” Ondracek said.