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An 11-Thousand dollar Grant Brings Free Books to Neosho Children - KOAM TV 7

An 11-Thousand dollar Grant Brings Free Books to Neosho Children through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library

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An eleven- thousand dollar grant helps the Neosho school district bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to local children.

The free books can make a big difference for the earliest learners.

Two year old Josiah Abbott reads with his mom. The ‘Little Engine That Could' was his first free book from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a program now available to all Neosho school district parents. 

Mom Christina Abbott says, "It's wonderful.  He has his own shelf he can reach. And he'll go pull books off the shelf and I'll catch him even just sitting looking at books  and or he'll bring them to us and want us to read them. And it's just nice and handy that you have the books there."

Dr. Trish Wilson, the Neosho district early childhood director says, "We're stressing literacy.  It's a great way to get books in the hands of kids and into family's hands. They get a free age appropriate book every month, every child.  If a family has four children, every child gets a book sent directly to them, every month."

School officials say students who have been read to at home  are  better prepared when they come to school.

Preschool teacher Katharine Watkins says,"You can absolutely tell the  difference when a kids been read to every night. They do better at their language skills, they have better conversations with friends and adults and their pre reading skills are improved."

Josiah has a pretty big vocabulary already. Christina says it's a great way to create a personal library and the books come personally addressed to the child in the mail.

"My daughter,  she would  was the one that got the most  excited when he was a baby,” says Abbot. “Oh, we've got a new book, and she would open it up and she wanted to be the one to read to him. So it involves the entire family in it," Abbott says.

Watkins adds, "Even if its five minutes that makes a major impact .  I've  never met a kid who didn't  love to sit and read with me. So I'm sure that they would love to read with their parent too."

Wilson says the deliver by mail brings,  "excitement!  That's part of Dolly Parton's focus which was to embed the love of reading into children and in families.

 The grant should cover the program for  three years and the district will look for  other funding to keep it going.

The grant comes from the Christine and Katharina Pauly Charitable Trust.

Parents are encouraged to register students for the free books at the school district website or by calling parents as teachers.

Click here for a link.

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