To the editor:

According to an article published by the Pearson company, “...reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.” 

In an article in The Washington Post, Amy Joyce writes, “Study after study shows that early reading with children helps them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves, and reading with kids who already know how to read helps them feel close to caretakers, understand the world around them and be empathetic citizens of the world.”  

Science Daily published an article that claims, “Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.”

Study after study shows that reading benefits children in a myriad of ways, even before they can read themselves.

What if there was a program that delivered a book to children once a month, every month until the age of five? 

The Halifax County Public Library System, along with several members of the community, is working to bring such a program to the county. 

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library pays for an age-appropriate book and a portion of the shipping cost for all enrolled children once a month. Children who are enrolled in the program from birth will receive 60 books during their participation in the program. The county only has to pay for part of the shipping. 

To qualify, however, the Imagination Library requires counties to raise at least two years’ worth of funding before beginning to ensure continuation of and investment in the program. This means the HCSBPL must raise $13,500 to bring the program to our county.

There can be no doubt that reading and being read to have a significant impact on the academic development and success of children. What better way to encourage them, than to deliver a book right to their door? One of the benefits of this program is that a small (or not so small) donation goes a long way. Just $25.20 would sponsor one child for an entire year, and if 135 people give $100, we’re fully funded. 

If we want good things for our community, we have to invest in them. This means investing our time, our energy or our money. Please consider donating to the Imagination Library. The Halifax County Library Facebook page and website have more information.

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader,” said Margaret Fuller 

Let us do what we can to make the next generation of Halifax County readers and leaders.

Thanks, 

Traci Wilmoth and Colleen Barnes

English teachers