Free Books for Kids Under Five
Boyle Street and McCauley residents qualify for Ready. Set. READ! program with EPL and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
My husband and I began reading to our kids from an early age – a very early age. In fact, I packed their first picture books in my overnight bag when we left for the hospital as expectant parents.
We introduced our eldest daughter to Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, before we had registered her name. Two years later, we rocked our second daughter to sleep with I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch before the sun set on her first day. As infants, they couldn’t understand the words or make sense of the images, but we wanted to make sharing books a part of their lives from Day One.
While we were probably more eager to get started than most new parents, it’s never too early to begin reading with the littlest people in our lives. It strengthens the bond between caregiver and child, makes memories, and sets the foundation for early literacy and language development. For these reasons, I was thrilled to learn that both Boyle Street and McCauley are among the 13 neighbourhoods that qualify for Ready. Set. READ!, a partnership between Edmonton Public Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Ready. Set. READ! is a free monthly picture book subscription for children under five. The books arrive by mail and are tailored to children’s developmental needs at each age. The program is funded by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and community donations, with qualifying neighbourhoods chosen based on census statistics and other data. If fundraising targets are exceeded, the program will expand to include more local neighbourhoods. When a neighbourhood is selected, all families with postal codes within its boundaries are eligible to receive their free book subscription.
To apply for your Ready. Set. READ! subscription or to make a donation, visit https://www.epl.ca/ready-set-read/. Paper application forms are available at any EPL branch.
Joelle Reiniger is a resident of Boyle Street and the proud mother of two young bookworms.