Best Beginnings Update January-March 2017

In the third quarter of FY 2017, the number of children enrolled in Imagination Library in Alaska increased as we worked with one community to get their Imagination Library back up and running while losing a couple of smaller communities due to lack of funding. Early Language & Literacy key points for this quarter include:

  • 107 communities served through Imagination Library – click here for a list of communities.
  • 19,123 children enrolled in Imagination Library (an increase of 333)
  • 35% of all eligible Alaska children enrolled in Imagination Library
  • 57,972 free books delivered through Imagination Library

Best Beginnings and its partners hosted, partnered in hosting, and/or implemented family engagement activities that included family activities at Homeless Connect, a circus night, many story times with crafts, a parent education session, winter carnival, and more.  Strong Children, Parents, & Families key points for this quarter:

  • 38 family engagement activities/events
  • 966 individuals attended family engagement events

In March, Best Beginnings took the lead in ARISE’s parent education campaign centered on providing information and activities parents can use to better prepare their children for kindergarten. ARISE links directly to Best Beginnings’ website and activities. Each month focuses on indicators measured in the Alaska Developmental Profile.

Volunteer support not only demonstrates community buy-in, but also keeps the cost associated with serving tens of thousands of Alaskans far lower than it might otherwise be. Community presentations educate varied audiences, galvanize local support, and inspire action on behalf of Alaska children and their families.  Community Awareness & Support key points for this quarter:

  • 159 volunteers implemented Imagination Library
  • 4 informational presentations in support of early childhood

Increasing impact and reach is achieved by working strategically with partners who aim to create life-long positive change by serving young children and their families. While maintaining current partnerships, Best Beginnings is always on the lookout for new opportunities. For example, AK on the Go’s new program, Read on the Fly, teamed up with Best Beginnings to encourage reading among Alaska children, whether they are traveling through Alaska’s airports or at home. Best Beginnings became the fiscal sponsor of this program in the third quarter of FY 2017.

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