The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Preschoolers gifted books from Imagination Library


November 22, 2016

Brooke Finch

Curry County Manager Lance Pyle reads a book to preschoolers at Clovis Nazarene School on Monday as part of the county's Imagination Library reading program.

CLOVIS — Preschoolers at Clovis Nazarene School were in for a special treat Monday morning when they not only got a visit from Curry County Manager Lance Pyle, but they also each got to take home a book of their own.

In 2014, county commissioners approved seed money to bring Imagination Library to Curry County. The reading program was created by Dolly Parton in 1995 in her home county of Sevier, Tennessee.

Imagination Library runs entirely on donations and grants. The program each month sends a hand-selected book in the mail to enrolled children, ages 5 and under.

This time, however, preschool children received a visit from Pyle, who read them a story called "Peanut Butter and Cupcake" and gave them each a different book to keep. The visit came about due to a recent fundraising effort.

After a spring/summer fundraising drive, Curry County received multiple donations last month from local companies and businesses, plus a $2,500 grant from the R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation and a $3,000 grant from the Brindle Foundation, for a total of $7,200.

That was a major boost for the program, which faced financial trouble earlier this year and was at risk of running out of money by April.

"Between the grants and the local sponsors of the program, we are seeing the funds come in," Pyle said. "We are, of course, always continuing to take money to keep it going, but right now, we feel we have enough money to keep the program going 'til about March."

Since 2014, Imagination Library has mailed more than 13,500 books to children in Curry County, according to Curry County Administration Executive Assistant Ashley Moran. The program currently has 683 children enrolled and 257 graduates.

"I think reading is so important," Pyle said. "It helps you get a good foundation. You could see in the class today how the kids were focused, and they enjoyed it. I encourage all parents or guardians to read to their kids, because I think it's the foundation for them as they go through school and as they go through life. Hopefully other counties in the area can provide the program to the youth in their community."


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