Local Literacy Program for Pre-K Children May Come to Close Due to Low Funding

by Ashleigh Bobo

In May of 2013, Springfield adopted the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program allowing children to receive a book once a month until the age of 5. Children born in any of the four Springfield zip codes are eligible for free enrollment. Almost 2,000 children are enrolled in the program this year.

“We’ve heard people tell us that their children are excited about getting books and excited about learning to read and we know from research that when children are excited about books and about reading it makes learning to read much easier when that time comes,” says Nancee Dahms-Stinson, a librarian at the Library Center.

However, the funding from the United Way of the Ozarks is running low with only enough money to fund currently enrolled students for the rest of the year. They have promoted the program to public and private entities that have donated in the past.

“For those children whose families are not mobile at all, getting books delivered to their homes is the only way that child has access to books. Without access to books, children have a lot of difficulty learning to read and learning lots of the other skills that they need to be ready for kindergarten,” says Dahms-Stinson.

It will take $40,000 in funding-raising in order to continue the literacy program for children under the age of 5.