Imagination Library Grant Announcements

Reading Rendezvous

Grant Announcements – October 2010
Grant Announcements – July 2010

Grant Announcements – December 2009


Grants expand Imagination Library – October 2010

A fourth round of grants awarded by Best Beginnings both expanded Imagination Library to additional communities, expanded the numbers of children to be enrolled in existing communities, and funded family engagement efforts. The grants are funded by a $188,500 grant to Best Beginnings from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED).

New communities joining the Imagination Library roster are Dillingham, Emmonak, and Homer. Mat-Su Imagination Library will add the remainder of the borough communities: Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, Willow, Houston, Sutton, Glacier View, Chickaloon, Knik River, Lake Louise, Skwentna, Buffalo Soapstone, and Butte. Seward/Moose Pass Imagination Library will add Hope; Southeast will add Petersburg, Yakutat, and Sitka; and Upper Tanana will add Dot Lake and Border.

Greater Kenai/Soldotna and North Star Imagination Libraries increased their enrollment targets.

With this round of grants, Best Beginnings is now helping 70 communities promote child and family literacy by participating in Imagination Library.

In most of the communities receiving grants, a local entity is sponsoring, underwriting, or organizing Imagination Library. In a first, one of Best Beginnings early childhood partnerships, Families First in Homer, is organizing their Imagination Library. Tribal councils in both Emmonak and Dillingham (Curyung Tribal Council) are sponsoring their Imagination Libraries.

Grant monies are also helping to fund and support family engagement activities ranging from monthly programs in Upper Tanana to quarterly programs in Old Harbor and Kodiak, Seward/Moose Pass, and Fairbanks.


Grants expand Imagination Library – July 2010

Alaska communities will be added to the Imagination Library roster under a third round of grants announced in July 2010 by Best Beginnings. The grants are funded by a $358,400 multi-year grant to Best Beginnings from the Rasmuson Foundation.

The new communities who joined Imagination Library in July are Brevig Mission, Unalakleet, and Tatitlek. The North Slope Imagination Library will expand from Barrow to the seven other North Slope villages of Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, and Wainwright; and Mat-Su Imagination Library will now cover Wasilla, Palmer, and Big Lake. Imagination Libraries in Anchorage and Old Harbor also received funds to expand enrollments.

With this round of grants, Best Beginnings is now helping 48 communities promote child and family literacy by participating in Imagination Library.

In most of the communities receiving grants, a local entity is sponsoring, underwriting, or organizing Imagination Library. On the North Slope, the Friends of Tuzzy Library is taking the lead. In both Unalakleet and Brevig Mission, the traditional IRA councils are sponsoring the program, and in Tatitlek, Chugachmiut has provided additional impetus.

Best Beginnings has become the statewide coordinating entity for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails a high-quality, age-appropriate book each month to children from birth to age 5.

The program costs $30 per child, per year, but there is no charge to the family. Having new books of their own is a powerful way for children and their parents to become more engaged in positive learning experiences. The more children know and understand about “book reading” and what it represents before they enter school, the better prepared they will be for success.

In communities that already have an Imagination Library, Best Beginnings helps expand their capacity to send books to more children. In other locations, Best Beginnings provides technical and administrative assistance and grants to establish new Imagination Libraries. In addition to raising local funds, volunteers promote the program, register the children, and maintain the enrollment database.

Since Best Beginnings first became involved in Imagination Library in 2008, it has expanded and sprouted all over the state. Earlier grants have been funded by the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED), ConocoPhillips Alaska, and The CIRI Foundation.


Grants expand Imagination Library – December 2009

Twelve Alaska communities will be added to the Imagination Library roster under a second round of grants announced in December 2009 by Best Beginnings. The grants are funded by a $150,000 grant to Best Beginnings from the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development (DEED).

The new communities who joined Imagination Library in December
are Barrow, Sitka, Koliganek, Little Diomede, Wasilla, Nanwalek, Old Harbor, Eagle, Mentasta, Northway, Tetlin, and Toksook Bay. Imagination Libraries in Anchorage, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Seward, Nome, Southeast Alaska, Tok, and Tanacross also received funds to expand enrollments. With this round of grants, Best Beginnings is now helping 31 communities promote child and family literacy by participating in Imagination Library.

In most of the communities receiving grants, a local entity is sponsoring, underwriting, or organizing Imagination Library. In Barrow, the Friends of Tuzzy Library is taking the lead. The Nanwalek IRA Council, with the Nanwalek Reading Program, is sponsoring the program in that community. The Toksook Bay Head Start is putting together Imagination Library there. In Old Harbor, the program is underwritten in part by the Old Harbor Scholarship Foundation, and in Koliganek, it’s Southwest Region Schools.

At the same, time the Kuskokwim Education Foundation is underwriting expansion of Imagination Library to their villages, beginning with Aniak and ultimately including Upper and Lower Kalskag, Sleetmute, Crooked Creek, Chuathbaluk, Stony River, and Red Devil.

Best Beginnings has become the statewide coordinating entity for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which mails a high-quality, age-appropriate book each month to children from birth to age 5. The program costs $30 per child, per year, but there is no charge to the family.

Having new books of their own is a powerful way for children and their parents to become more engaged in positive learning experiences. The more children know and understand about “book reading” and what it represents before they enter school, the better prepared they will be for success.

In communities that already have an Imagination Library, Best Beginnings helps expand their capacity to send books to more children. In other locations, Best Beginnings provides technical and administrative assistance and grants to establish new Imagination Libraries. In addition to raising local funds, volunteers promote the program, register the children, and maintain the enrollment database.

Since Best Beginnings first became involved in Imagination Library in 2008, it has expanded and sprouted all over the state. A round of grants awarded earlier in 2009 was funded by the Rasmuson Foundation, ConocoPhillips Alaska, and The CIRI Foundation.