Making books a Berkeley birthright.
We believe every child should own an excellent personal library before Kindergarten.
Our affiliation with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library allows us to offer their program delivering a new, age-appropriate book every month to any child under age 5 living in Berkeley, California.
Books are a gift to the child.
Imagination Library books are intentionally chosen to reflect a rich diversity of people, their roles, and environments. The Selection Team reviews and updates titles annually.
You could buy the same books yourself, but you cannot buy the excitement and pleasure a child experiences when their book with their name on the label arrives -- nor can you buy the research, time, and care the IL Selection Team puts in to the title list.
There is no cost to register your child for the program, but that's not the best reason to do so: it's the quality of the collection; it's the recurring excitement of "my book" arriving in the mail -- and, arriving with it, motivation (if not outright demand!) to read it, have it read aloud.
We love Imagination Library because the books are excellent and because it's so much fun. Of course, there's plenty of research to show that the pretense of books in a preschooler's home is the single strongest indicator of later literacy and academic success, and we fully appreciate that. But what warms our hearts and gets us into the office are stories and comments from parents about the excitement their children get when books arrive, addressed to the child. We are joyfully confident that the motivation to read my book now, and repeatedly, will show up in test scores years down the road, and that's important. What keeps us working to make books a Berkeley birthright is the vision of the monthly joy of the gift in the mail, and the desire to expand the program across the East Bay in the future.