As we continue to “hunker down” in Alaska during the coronavirus pandemic, good news is often hard to come by. Here’s a good news story I love to tell! This month, 17,609 children in 118 communities in Alaska are finding a brand-new, high-quality, age-appropriate book in their mailbox, at no cost to their family. Best Beginnings and 28 affiliates are continuing to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library all across Alaska. And we are thrilled that Kodiak Imagination Library has just started the program in their community. Welcome, Kodiak children and families!
And what happens when a child gets a new book? They excitedly find someone to read it with them. In these days of social distancing, it’s more likely to be a parent or older sibling than a grandparent. (I really miss spending time with my grandchildren!) Parent-child reading time may be even more important as families are spending more time together at home with the added stresses of COVID-19 — concerns about paying bills, having adequate food, at-home schooling with older children, and so on. A recent study tells us those 10 or 15 minutes a parent can carve out to read with their young child can positively impact what otherwise might be harsh parenting practices. Shared book-reading = stronger nurturing bonds between parent and child.
Now there’s another way fun way Alaska children can enjoy Imagination Library books. Every Thursday evening until June, children and their family can join us virtually for GoodNight with Dolly and hear Dolly Parton herself read a book from Imagination Library – and maybe sing a little, too!
Dolly has chosen these books to share:
- The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
- There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
- I Am a Rainbow by Dolly Parton
- Pass It On by Sophy Henn
- Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovell
- Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen
- Max & The Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper
- Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
- Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
And if that doesn’t satisfy your loved ones’ appetite for reading, you can always find more ideas for books to read and activities to do at BestBeginningsAlaska.org.