Lenawee Community Foundation is awarded a $15,000

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Lenawee Community Foundation is awarded a $15,000 grant from the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation for the Lenawee Imagination Library program.

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”
~Jim Rohn

Children in Lenawee County are reading more thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Masonry’s B.E.S.T. (Build, Empower, Strengthen and Transform) Community Grant will purchase 6,000 books for Lenawee’s children through the Imagination Library!

The Imagination Library delivers a new, age-appropriate book each month to registered children from birth to age five, who live in Lenawee County.  The books are mailed directly to each child at his/her home from Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation, where childhood literacy experts select the books, and a partnership with their printer greatly reduces the cost to the Lenawee Community Foundation. 

There is no cost to the families to receive books for their children.  Individuals, foundations, and service clubs have been generous donors sponsoring the cost of $30 per child per year.  The annual program cost totals approximately $50,000 per year. 

The children get to keep the books, so a child registered at birth can accumulate a collection up to 60 books of their very own.  Currently around 1,500 children in Lenawee County receive books each month.  Titles include The Little Engine that Could, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Violet the Pilot, Corduroy, All of Baby Nose to Toes, and more.

Because 90% of a child’s brain development occurs between birth and age 5, and 15 minutes of reading out loud to children everyday will expose them to ONE MILLION written words a year, the Imagination Library is a proven strategy to enhance childhood literacy and increase accessibility to age-appropriate reading material for Lenawee County children.

The Imagination Library is an excellent investment in children, and truly a gift that will keep on giving, as our children enter kindergarten prepared and ready to learn.

For information about sponsoring or registering a child contact Lenawee Community Foundation at (517) 423-1729, cynthia@lenaweecf.com, or visit www.lenaweecf.com.

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Photo Caption: From left, Ryan Bladzik, Development Officer & Lodge Liaison, Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation, recently presented a $15,000 grant for Lenawee’s Imagination Library.  Sharing in the celebration were Gary Naugle of Tecumseh Masonic Lodge 69; Shelley Hickman,  Lenawee Imagination Library volunteer founder; Sue Hammersmith, President & CEO of Lenawee Community Foundation; and Jerry Reed, Tecumseh Masonic Lodge 69.  Because the Dollywood Foundation arranges for publishing and mailing more than 1.3 million books monthly, their purchasing power greatly reduces the cost to the Lenawee Community Foundation, enabling 6,000 books to be delivered to Lenawee children through the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation’s B.E.S.T. grant.

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