SIDNEY — Launched in March of 2015 in Shelby County, Imagination Library is an early literacy program for children under the age of 5. At no cost to the family, an age appropriate book is mailed monthly to the family’s address. Studies show children enrolled in Imagination Library are better prepared for kindergarten, are read to more often, and have more books and visits to the local libraries than children not enrolled. Wilson Health enrolls all babies born at the birthing center. Today, 1,866 children under the age of five in Shelby County are receiving books monthly. This represents 53 percent of all children under the age of five in the county.
“To date, over 34,000 books have been mailed to families in Shelby County. This evidenced based program will positively impact kindergarten readiness with a direct correlation to the child’s future success, both as a student and an adult,” said Scott Barr, Shelby County executive director.
Imagination Library is a funded program of the Shelby County United Way and is administered locally by the Shelby County Libraries. Funding the program along with the United Way and Shelby County Libraries are; Sidney City Schools, Midwest Regional ESC, Sidney Altrusa, Kiwanis, Rotary, POWER, Monarch Legacy Fund, Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, and Wilson Health.
Enrollment numbers by community: Anna 185, Botkins 96, Fort Loramie 180, Houston 61, Jackson Center 55, Kettlersville 5, Maplewood 26, Port Jefferson 9, Russia 95, Sidney 1,100, Others 54, Total 1,866.
Families interested in enrolling their child ages 0 up to their fifth birthday can visit any of their local Shelby County Library or www.imaginationlibrary.com and click Enroll My Child.
The Shelby County United Way is a local 501 c 3 non-profit that through their annual campaign, invests in 27 partner agencies and in 2015 awarded 20 additional smaller grants. Monies raised in the annual campaign are invested locally under the leadership and direction of our local Board of Directors and Community Allocation Volunteers. The Shelby County United Way has earned the highest rating from Charity Navigator for the third consecutive year. Through the second week, the campaign totals are $172,279. Contact the Shelby County United Way at 937-492-2101 to learn how to make a gift.