The need for children to develop literacy skills at a young age has been well documented; not only does parent child literacy activities improve literacy but oral language skills. The Center for Early Education Evaluation - High Scope Educational Research Foundation has documented the following statistics:
• Children pretending to read books increased 29%
• Families with 26 or more books in the home increased 35%
• Families reading together one or time times a day increased 22%
• Families who own library cards increased 19%
• Oral comprehension increased 76%
• Picture vocabulary increased 52%
• Understanding directions increased 65%
• Story recall increased 54%
In addition, the impact of literacy limitations impacts employment potential, crime and health statistics for adults.
In our own county, Routt County, 39% of children are not ready fort kindergarten in literacy (2016 data)
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library project has been developed in direct response to the proven need to improve literacy in pre-school children. Today, well over 100 million books for children 0 to 5 have been distributed - free - to children around the world. The Routt County United Way has adopted this project with the goal of enrolling all eligible children in the county.
The Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs has supported this project through volunteer assistance enrolling children at a wide array of locations as well as through individual contacts. In addition, volunteers from our club have supported literacy improvement by providing after-school reading support.
Our club is submitting this proposal in order to more fully fund the efforts to provide reading books to our eligible Routt County residents. Each $25 of funding provides one year of Imagination Library books to a child. With a contribution from our club of $500 and a matching district grant of $1000, we will be able to fund 60 children for one year.