Working together to place free books in the hands of children

Reading Railroad, local schools, and middle and high school Beta Club members teamed up recently to register Haywood County children for FREE BOOKS from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Registration tables were set up at the fall Parent-Teacher conferences in three schools in an effort to locate children from birth to age 5 who are not yet receiving these fine books.

Beta Club members explained the Imagination Library program to parents of eligible children and encouraged them to register their children on the spot. In return for their volunteer efforts Haywood High Beta Club members received Community Service credit toward the required 80 hours.

Reading Railroad Board President, Jerilyn Thornton, praised the school principals and the adult and student volunteers for their cooperation.

“To find and register the 40 percent of our children who are not yet registered for free books will take community effort, such as was displayed in this recent effort. Reading Railroad provided registration materials and adult volunteers, teachers lined up Beta Club volunteers, and the principals and teachers of Haywood, East Side, and Haywood County Middle schools warmly welcomed us. Working together, we obtained over 50 new registrations that day!”

Mrs. Thornton, an avid reader herself, stated the value of the Reading Railroad program.

“We place quality, age-appropriate books in homes, knowing that research proves that having books in the home correlates with school success. Each registered child receives one book a month mailed to the home in his/her name at no cost to the family. It is our hope and belief that parents, grandparents, and even siblings will read these books to the children who receive them. We want every child in this county to arrive at kindergarten loving books and eager to learn.”

Parents who missed this opportunity to register an eligible child for free books may do so any Monday through Saturday at the Elma Ross Public Library, or at the October 19th Fall Fest, where Reading Railroad will have a table on Court Square sponsored by Insouth Bank.

HMS Reading Railroad web