Thursday, July 25, 2013

Get a FREE book for your Child each Month from Birth to 5 Yrs Old - Courtesy of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

From the first month we brought our kids home from the hospital after being born to today we've received a FREE book each month delivered in our mail courtesy of .... Dolly Parton.

The Country signer's Imagination Library has selected 60 books that they provide through partnerships with local charitable groups across the country to encourage parents to read to their young children for 15 minutes every day over the course of 5 yrs. If your community has a participating program (rules vary from program to program in some cases you just have to sign up and in other cases their are income/need criteria or programs you need to participate in to qualify) your child will receive a different book each month (specifically selected for suitability for your child's particular age level each month throughout the program) from birth until they turn 5 years old for a total of 60 books in all during that time span.

We've received some great books through this program such as "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "Where the Wild Things Are", Little Monkey Lost", "My Lucky Day", "The Little Engine That Could", and "If I Built a Car" among others.   The goal of the program is to encourage parents to regularly read to their children from newborns until they reach kindergarten for 15 minutes a day to promote early brain development and an appreciation of reading with children.

Why is reading to kids so important? According to the non-profit group Read Aloud: 15 MINUTES:
Forty million children will be born in the United States over the next decade. If something does not change, 15 million of those children will not be ready when kindergarten rolls around. The 15 MINUTES Movement aims to turn daily reading aloud for 15 minutes from a recommendation into a parenting must.
Why is reading aloud so important?

  • Brain development – Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. From birth to age 3 are critical years for the development of language skills that are the foundation for future learning success.
  • Language – The number of words that a child knows when he or she enters kindergarten is the most important predictor of a child’s success or failure. Reading aloud grows your child’s vocab and introduces many words and concepts that you might not use in everyday conversation.
  • Literacy Skills – Vocabulary, phonics, familiarity with the printed word, storytelling, comprehension. Reading aloud is invaluable for building these skills.
  • Bonding – Reading with a child in your lap is some primo bonding time.
  • Love of Reading – Parents that read aloud are demonstrating that reading is important, pleasurable and valuable.
  • Knowledge – Books have information! You and your child can learn something new when you read aloud.
Nearly half of America’s children are not read aloud to everyday. If your child is not reading at grade-level by the end of first grade, there is an 88 percent chance that they will still be behind in fourth grade. This can lead to a disheartened and frustrated child, who feels that they are constantly having to catch up.
By age 4, children who are read aloud to regularly have heard an average of 32 million more words than children who are not. 
Reading aloud 15 MINUTES is the simplest and most effective way to help our children be ready for a lifetime of learning.

For more information about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library or to to find a participating program serving your neighborhood, visit:

This has been a great program for our family to participate in courtesy of our local United Way & I'd encourage you to check it out if you have young children in your household.

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