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Imagination Library nearing one-year anniversary

By Staff | Apr 8, 2013

The Imagination Library is closing in on its one-year anniversary, and local committee president Susie Schmaltz said the program has been a smashing success, with participation rates as high as any in the nation on a per capita basis.

“We’ve reached 86 percent of our budgeted population,” she said. “We are the fastest growing imagination in the nation. That’s neat, but not as neat as when you run into little kids and ask them if they get books from imagination library and their faces light up.”

The program is open to all children up to age four, and is designed to help children develop a passion for reading and hit the ground running when they reach kindergarten.

“As we move forward, we won’t really know what impact we’ve had,” Schmaltz said. “According to people who have done this, school districts say their kindergarten readiness is much higher than it was.”

Nearing the one-year mark, the program is doing some fundraising, but Schmaltz said it will only be done once a year in March.

“March is always our fundraising month and we want businesses to know we’re only going to contact them once a year,” she said. “We only take one little chunk of our 12 months, the rest of the time is devoted to children who can benefit from the book.”

The cost of a child receiving one book a month in the program is $25. To qualify, a child needs only to be in the Rugby Public School District. Schmaltz said she is sending letters to local businesses. If individuals are interested in donating to the program, there are a number of options.

Schmaltz said one is to send a check written to Imagination Library to Rugby High School, located at 1123 South Main Avenue, Rugby, N.D., 58368. Interested donors could also go to the Heart of America Library or visit www.imaginationlibrary.com and click on “register my child.”

Schmaltz said she could be contacted at (701) 776-6023 with any questions from parents or potential donors.

Schmaltz said she’s received positive feedback not only from children, but from parents as well.

“The best place to read is with a mother, father, brother or sister,” she said. “I had a parent tell me, ‘when the book comes in the mail, it reminds me to take time to read with my child.’ It will happen once a month from ages 0-4. That’s a lot of time that parent spends with their child.”

The local Imagination Library committee members are Schmaltz, Lisa DeMontigny, Denise Myhre, Kris Blessum and Peggy Harmel.

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