Whitesburg KY
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Rotary awarded grant for early childhood literacy

The Rotary Club of Whitesburg was recently awarded a $7,000 grant from global humanitarian organization Save the Children to support the club’s Imagination Library Program, which provides age-appropriate books in the homes of children under the age of five to help build their literacy skills in preparation for entering kindergarten.

The Rotary Club of Whitesburg, along with seven other Rotary Clubs from across the U.S., was selected by Save the Children to support innovative approaches to early childhood literacy. The grants will provide these clubs with up to $10,000 to help fund community-wide initiatives that support kindergarten readiness and early childhood literacy.

This community engagement program is a part of Together We READ, a partnership between BELRAG (Basic Education and Literacy Rotary Action Group) and Save the Children that began in 2018.

The Imagination Library Program is an opportunity to address the literacy situation in Letcher County by providing books to children under the age of five that will encourage the development of pre-reading, language, vocabulary and number skills through sight, sound, and memory. The program is designed to promote the enjoyment of reading by exposing children to a literacy rich environment before they enter kindergarten and to encourage parents to read to their children. Books are provided to children at no cost to their family. Eligible children can be registered on-line at imaginationlibrary.com or by completing an application available at any of the Community Trust and Whitaker Bank locations in the county. Children who are registered at birth can receive up to 58 books during their enrollment in the program. The first book a child receives is The Little Engine That Could. The month a child turns five he/she will receive Look Out Kindergarten,

Here I Come!

The Together We READ partnership unites Save the Children’s expertise in child literacy programs, data collection and outcome measurement with Rotary’s expertise in advocacy, connecting community leaders, developing and implementing projects and driving public awareness and fundraising efforts – all with the aim of measurably increasing education outcomes for young children living in poverty.

For more information about how to register a child for the Imagination Library Program or how you can partner with the Rotary Club of Whitesburg to help reach all eligible children in Letcher County, contact Margaret Hammonds (meghammonds@outlook.com) or Barbara Ison (barbison54@outlook.com).

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