Because 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by age 5, reading every day to a child is the best way to build language skills needed to learn to read and succeed in school and eventually life.
Parents in the Village and other Verde Valley towns have a powerful, free resource to help them help their children read – Dolly Parton’s amazingly popular Verde Valley Imagination Library.
The Verde Valley Imagination Library (VVIL) is a new nonprofit managing the Library’s Verde Valley expansion. The Rotary Club of Sedona first brought the Imagination Library to Sedona/VOC children in 2012.
The Beaver Creek community (Lake Montezuma,Rimrock) raised funds to include their children in 2015. Then last year, all Verde Valley Rotary Clubs partnered, along with a challenge grant from the Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona, to offer the Imagination Library to all children birth to five living in all towns and villages in the Verde Valley.
Now 1340 preschoolers receive the gift of a beautiful new age-appropriate book in their mailbox every month, up from 400 in July 2016.
For children enrolled from infancy, it is literally a free-gift of a 60-volume set of high quality books published by Penguin Random House and chosen by developmental specialists. The first book will arrive at the home when babies are 2 months old. There is no cost; parents need only to register their children, keep their addresses up-to-date and have fun reading and sharing the books with their youngsters.
The VVIL raises money to pay for book and postage, manages the Book Order System, enrolls children at family-friendly community events (look for the Cat in the Hat), collaborates with community partners to help reach the parents of preschoolers, problem-solves book delivery and delivers books to new addresses when parents have moved. The local post offices play a vital role in the program and help assure that each child receives their book each month.