Best Beginnings News Releases

Classroom photo

Imagination Library in 111 Alaska communities
Two new affiliates sign on. News Release – July 9, 2014

Welcome New Board Member
Best Beginnings Welcomes Monica Kane to the Board of Directors. News Release – April 29, 2014

Alaskans Making Their Words Count This April
Families across Alaska are part of a widespread effort this month to focus on how daily interactions with their children can help prepare them for success in life. News Release – April 2, 2014

Proposals Sought for Imagination Library
Best Beginnings is accepting proposals for grants to launch new local Imagination Libraries and expand existing ones. News Release – Feb 21, 2014

StoryTRACKS available for check out
StoryTRACKS, the family-friendly “picture books on parade,” are available free of charge to organized groups and families in Anchorage. StoryTRACKS is a great way to combine families reading together, physical activity, and Alaska’s beautiful outdoors. News Release – August 29, 2013

Best Beginnings launches StoryTRACKS
A new family activity that combines reading together and getting outside will be unveiled Thursday, July 11, when Best Beginnings launches the first StoryTRACKS, at 1 pm on the lawn at the Z.J. Loussac Public Library fountain. News Release – July 3, 2013

Proposals Sought for Imagination Library
Best Beginnings is accepting proposals for grants to launch new local Imagination Libraries and expand existing ones. News Release – Feb 20, 2013

Imagination Library reaches 100 Alaska communities
Imagination Library has taken root all over Alaska, from small remote villages to large urban cities. One hundred communities are now being served by 29 local Imagination libraries. The most recent additions are Galena and Valdez, where volunteers have completed the groundwork and are now enrolling children. Cooper Landing is expected to come on board soon. News Release – Dec. 10, 2012

Save the date: Neuroscientist to reveal mysteries of the baby brain
Neuroscientist and best-selling author Dr. Lise Eliot will give a free public talk, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, at Wilda Marston Theatre, Z.J. Loussac Public Library, Anchorage. News Release – Dec. 3, 2012

Proposals Sought for Imagination Library
Best Beginnings is accepting proposals for grants to launch new local Imagination Libraries in Alaska. News Release – Nov. 13, 2012

Imagination Library enrollment hits new high
More than 19,000 young children – 35.2% of the estimated 53,996 children in Alaska under age 5 – are now enrolled in Imagination Library. The children’s literacy program – founded by Dolly Parton – has been growing by leaps and bounds in Alaska since 2009, when Best Beginnings took on the mission to expand it throughout Alaska. News Release – Sept. 21, 2012

Best Beginnings Launches Photo Contest
Best Beginnings is hosting a baby-with-book photo contest, July 11-31, 2012. Participants can submit a photo of their baby with one of the Babies on Track books – Our Alaska Family or Let’s Talk Alaska! The contest is administered through the Best Beginnings Facebook page.
News Release – July 11, 2012

Babies on Track video receives national award
Best Beginnings’ enchanting DVD for parents, Babies on Track, has won a prestigious Award of Merit from The Accolade Competition. The 14-minute DVD was produced by Affinityfilms, Inc., which entered it in the instructional/educational category.
News Release – June 13, 2012

Imagination Library enrollment hits new high
A children’s literacy program continues to expand in Alaska, with 18,029 children now enrolled in 29 Imagination Libraries serving 93 communities. In the past year, alone, Imagination Library has sent 191,910 books to Alaska children.
News Release – May 31, 2012

5 Factors Campaign Kicks Off – Secrets to strong families revealed
The not-so-secret keys to a strong and resilient family are evident in communities all over Alaska – if you know where to look. The 5 Factors Campaign is highlighting examples of those key factors in action, today through Friday, coinciding with the national Week of the Young Child,™ April 22-28.
News Release – Apr. 23, 2012

Proposals Sought for Imagination Library
Best Beginnings is accepting proposals for grants to launch new local Imagination Libraries and expand existing ones. News Release – Feb 22, 2012

Communities across Alaska host movie premieres
More than 160 premiere events are set to raise the curtain on Best Beginnings’ Babies on Track, a 14-minute DVD for parents. More than 80 villages, towns, and cities across Alaska took up the call to roll out the red carpet from February 25 through March 4. News Release – Feb. 13, 2012

Bring a Movie Premiere to Your Community
Best Beginnings is recruiting hosts for “100 Premieres” to be held Feb. 25 – March 4, 2012. (Note date change.) The 100 Premieres will be hosted all over Alaska to introduce Babies on Track, a 14-minute DVD for parents plus two companion baby board books. Using delightful images of Alaska babies on location around the state, the video and books foster early learning and healthy brain development at home in easy, convenient ways.
News Release – Nov. 2, 2011

Funds available to launch and expand Imagination Library in Alaska
Best Beginnings is working to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library throughout Alaska. More than 75 communities currently have the program under 23 local Imagination Libraries. Communities can apply by Oct. 17, 2011.
News Release – Sept 7, 2011

Alaska catches Dolly Parton’s attention
Alaska is enrolling more and more children in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and none other than Parton, herself, has taken notice. Parton taped a video message congratulating and thanking Alaskans for making it happen.
News Release – June 1, 2011

Proposals sought to expand Imagination Library
Best Beginnings is working to expand a children’s book program throughout Alaska by providing grants to launch Imagination Library in new communities and expand it in communities that already have the program.
News Release – April 7, 2011

Yup’ik/English Activity Cards Available
Parents and other caregivers who speak Yup’ik or want their children to know the language have a new tool to help. Best Beginnings is adding to its set of Early Learning Activity Guides with something new: Activity Cards – with Yup’ik on one side and English on the other.
News Release – Nov. 9, 2010

Proposals sought to expand Imagination Library
In an effort to expand a children’s book program more broadly in Alaska, Best Beginnings will issue grants to launch Imagination Library in new communities and expand it in communities that already have the program.
News Release – Aug. 16, 2010

Early Childhood Partnerships expand to 11
Alaska’s network of early childhood partnerships is expanding to 11, with the recent addition of coalitions in the Northwest Arctic Borough and Wrangell.
News Release – Aug.12, 2010

Imagination Library available in 12 more communities
Through a recent round of grants funded by the Rasmuson Foundation, Best Beginnings is now helping 48 Alaska communities promote child and family literacy through Imagination Library.
News Release – July 21, 2010

Community Grants Available from Best Beginnings
Best Beginnings is taking applications for Imagination Library and Early Childhood Partnerships, two community programs in Alaska that enhance the lives of young children and their families.
News Release – April 15, 2010

2010 Report to Alaskans Now Available
Interested individuals can download a copy here or contact the office for a hard copy.
2010 Report to Alaskans

Imagination Library expands to more communities
Twelve Alaska communities will be added to the Imagination Library roster under a second round of grants announced recently by Best Beginnings. The grants are funded by a $150,000 grant to Best Beginnings from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED).
News Release – Jan. 26, 2010

Imagination Library Headed to Kuskokwim Villages
Babies and young children in 10 villages along the Kuskokwim River will be eligible to receive a free book every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, thanks to a commitment from the Kuskokwim Education Foundation (KEF).
News Release – Dec. 22, 2009

Early Learning Activity Guides Now Available in Yup’ik
Marie Meade and Yup’ik toddlers will demonstrate activities from the new Best Beginnings Early Learning Activity Guides written in Yup’ik at a special event, Thursday Oct. 15, 2009, at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
News Release – Oct. 12, 2009

Proposals Sought to Expand Imagination Library
In an effort to expand a children’s book program more broadly in Alaska, Best Beginnings is soliciting proposals to launch or sustain Imagination Library in new communities and expand it in communities that already have the program.
News Release – Oct. 9, 2009

Public invited to launch of Early Learning Activity Guides in Yup’ik
A guide to age-appropriate activities that prepare young children for success in school is now available in Yup’ik; one for Infants (birth-18 months), one for Toddlers (18 months-3 years), and one for Preschoolers (3-5 years). The first launch of the guides will take place Sept. 23, 2009 in Bethel, Alaska.
News Release – Sept. 11, 2009

Family-Friendly Activity Guides Now Available in English
A guide to age-appropriate activities that prepare young children for success in school is now available in English; one for birth to age 3, and one for ages 3 to 5. Published through a collaboration of Best Beginnings and the Alaska Departments of Education & Early Development (DEED) and Health & Social Services (DHSS), the booklets are free of charge. News Release – July 22, 2009

Grants Awarded for Early Childhood Partnerships
Nine organizations in Southeast, Southcentral, coastal, and Interior Alaska will receive grants to foster early childhood partnerships in their communities. Best Beginnings is working with public and private partners to build a comprehensive early childhood system in Alaska. News Release – July 21, 2009

Best Beginnings Requests Applications for Early Childhood Partnerships
Best Beginnings is granting $50,000 over the next year to help fund community-based early childhood partnerships as part of an effort to develop a statewide early childhood system with improved collaboration and increased local-level decision-making. News Release – June 15, 2009

Best Beginnings Awarded Grant to Engage Business Leaders
Best Beginnings recently was awarded a $10,000 grant by the Partnership for America’s Economic Success to facilitate an early childhood investment summit engaging Alaska’s business leaders. National speaker on business and economic issues, Bill Millett, to headline. News Release – May 13, 2009

Best Beginnings Brings “Imagination Library” Home to Alaska
Best Beginnings is helping to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library home to more than 7,000 Alaska children, thanks to $85,000 in matching grants raised from the Rasmuson Foundation, ConocoPhillips Alaska and The CIRI Foundation. Children in participating communities eligible for free books from birth to 5th birthday. News Release – April 28, 2009

Spanish-language activity guides help develop children’s brains
Best Beginnings, a statewide organization that advocates for early learning and literacy, has published activity guides in Spanish to help parents and other adults provide babies and young children with activities to foster healthy brain development. News Release – Sept. 18, 2008

Early Learning Receives Boost from ConocoPhillips
Best Beginnings, Alaska’s early learning initiative, received a financial boost of $100,000 from ConocoPhillips. Wendy King, vice president of external affairs for ConocoPhillips, presented the check to Abbe Hensley, executive director for Best Beginnings, at an Early Learning Council meeting in mid-April. News Release – May 12, 2008

Early Learning Recommendations Go to Governor
A public engagement campaign, a standards-based rating and improvement system for child care and early learning programs, and increased funding are among the key recommendations issued to Gov. Sarah Palin in the wake of a statewide conference she convened on early learning. News Release – March 27, 2008

Alaskans from Kotzebue to Ketchikan Gather in Anchorage for Governor’s Summit on Early Learning
Legislators and statewide leaders from Alaska business, non-profit, faith community, education, philanthropy, early care and learning, and tribal organizations gather to hear from national and state experts on the importance of investing in early learning. The group will use that information to craft recommendations for Gov. Sarah Palin and other policy-makers.
News Release – December 5, 2007

States to Convene Summits on Early Childhood Development
To help states develop policies that address the needs of at risk infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) today announced 10 states will receive $10,000 grants to support Governors’ Summits on Early Childhood: Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia.
News Release – June 7, 2007