Thanks to a donation from a Cazenovia family, The Literacy Coalition of Madison County recently announced it will be expanding its early childhood literacy efforts to provide free, high-quality books to children across the county through a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The Imagination Library is a national program that provides one free, high-quality, age-appropriate book per month from birth to age 5 to children in participating communities.
The expansion, announced at the Fifth Annual Literacy Summit held at Colgate University, is made possible by a generous contribution from a Cazenovia family interested in supporting community literacy. The effort will encompass all communities and school districts in Madison County as well as the village of Earlville and the Otselic Valley school district. Nine libraries across the county are working with the Literacy Coalition and the Imagination Library to register families with young children for the program. In communities without a public library, the school libraries are helping out.
The expansion makes Madison County just the third site in the state to offer the Imagination Library project countywide, following Cayuga County and a four-county area in the Adirondacks region.
“We’re excited about being able to provide books to so many local children and families,” Literacy Coalition Executive Director Jay Dunn said. “Literacy really is a community-wide effort, and it took the support of all of our communities to make this expansion happen.”
The Literacy Coalition of Madison County NY is a collaborative that includes schools, BOCES, public libraries, government agencies, county and state lawmakers, local businesses, foundations and nonprofits, and early childhood care providers with a focus on community-wide literacy.
Dunn said the Imagination Library project is especially critical in rural areas like Madison County, where transportation, geography and technology can be barriers to literacy. Once families are enrolled in the Imagination Library program, their monthly book is mailed directly to their home with the child’s name on the label.