Here at Best Beginnings, we’ve always said Imagination Library is not just a book delivery program; it’s a Get-the-Whole-Community-Involved-in-Reading-to-Kids Program!
All over the state, local committees are adding even more value to Imagination Library with events that engage families in fun, creative, brain-building activities. They’re building healthy kids, healthy families, and healthy communities, too.
Juneau Imagination Library, under AEYC-Southeast, has been the role model for the state, inspiring others with its monthly Family Night for Preschoolers. Whether they have visiting chickens (live) and dancing chickens (children) for one event or a visiting Ferry Captain leading them in stories and paper boat crafts for another, more than 800 Juneau preschoolers and their families have books come alive for them.
The March 27 launch of Imagination Library in Barrow was a big celebration with a distinctly Iñupiaq flavor, featuring a community potluck, storytelling, and of course, books. The children were captivated with stories and interactive activities led by Martha Stackhouse of Ilisagvik College and Sara Saxton of Tuzzy Library.
In the Mat-Su Valley, Imagination Library expanded from the Meadow Lakes area to Palmer, Wasilla, and Big Lake, with three “Bob the Builder” themed kick-off events in June. Each child received a yellow hard hat, and the sites were decorated with safety cones, stop signs, and volunteers in reflective safety vests. One of the cleverest and most popular activities was “Car Tracks” – children ran toy trucks and cars over inked stamp pads. Then they ran the vehicles over blank sheets of paper, leaving tracks behind.
The Seward/Moose Pass Imagination Library held a Book Bash in June at the Bear Creek Fire Station, tying nicely to Firefighters to the Rescue, an Imagination Library book. Children made firefighter finger puppets and windsocks and watched short videos on fire safety. Firefighters and parents read books aloud. There were tours of the station and children sat in the fire trucks and got to honk the horns – a BIG hit!
Whether it’s a splashy community event or (as in Tok) a home visit by a partnering organization, the message is clear: Imagination Library books are meant to be read and enjoyed. Thank you to all the volunteers and parents who make this happen!