Friday, September 5, 2014

First 5 celebrates National Literacy Month in September

September is National Literacy Month, and First 5 Amador is pleased to continue funding for “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” a program available to all children, from birth to age 5, who reside in Amador County. Originally created by Parton in 1996, the program mails a new, age-appropriate book every month to registered children from birth until their fifth birthday – at no cost to the family, regardless of income. It's the fifth anniversary of the launch of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Amador County. This free program has provided over 5,700 books to over 750 local children in the past year.

Reading helps children develop four basic thinking skills, including the ability to pay attention, a good memory, the ability to solve problems, and good language skills. First 5 Amador further promotes this through their current “Talk, Read, Sing” Campaign. Each year, one third of America’s children arrive at their first day of school developmentally behind their peers and without the skills necessary to succeed at their grade level, according to Jumpstart, a nationwide leader in promoting early literacy. When children begin behind their peers, catching up, especially without additional assistance, is difficult and unlikely. 

The first book that each child receives is a customized version of the children’s classic, “The Little Engine That Could.” On a monthly basis, children will then receive a developmentally appropriate book to help build their early literacy library. When signed up at birth, a child will receive their 60th free book the month that they turn 5 years old. There are currently 724 Amador County children receiving these books in the mail.

First 5 Amador provides funding for the project, but the program’s continued success and sustainability is contingent upon support from community members throughout Amador County. Please call First 5 Amador for information on making a donation, at 257-1092.

Several other First 5 Amador funded programs are helping to promote National Literacy Month, in many ways. The Toddler Playgroup, Dad & Me, and Camanche School Readiness programs are making this their focus for the month of September. In addition, First 5 Amador has launched a special contest on their Facebook page, for one family to win a set of Imagination Library wooden book-ends from First 5. To enter this contest, families simply need to post a picture of their child reading a book, or being read to by an adult, on First 5 Amador’s Facebook page. 

First 5 Amador would also like to remind everyone about the four “Little Libraries” that are located throughout the county in Camanche, Volcano, River Pines, and Buckhorn. Following a nation-wide trend, these local Little Libraries were originally created by the Amador County Library. They provide a “take a book, return a book” location where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. These Little Free Libraries are small house-shaped structures full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. For anyone interested in making their own Little Library for their neighborhood, visit 

First 5 Amador supports and designs programs for children ages 0 to 5. For more information, please visit our website at To stay up to date on events and activities and to enter the book-end contest, visit our Facebook page at Also visit,or call us at 257-1092.

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