Weekly INBrief: February 24, 2021

Friday Feb 19th, 2021

Imagination Library Statistics 

As of February 1, 2020 there are 9,117 children enrolled in the Imagination Library, plus 15,022 graduates, those having reached their fifth birthday. With the December mailing, a total of 800,638 books have been mailed since the first ones were sent out in July 2013. 

Important statistic: according to the Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2, the ratio of age-appropriate books for middle income children is 13 books in the home per child. For low-income children, the ratio of age-appropriate books to children is one (1) book per 300 children. We have changed that for Erie County.

Erie Playhouse PLAYtime

Reinventing programming during a pandemic is a challenge but our friends at the Erie Playhouse have answered the call when it comes to Erie Playhouse PLAYtime. United Way proudly supports this lively and interactive program for students throughout Erie County community schools which uses the arts as a vehicle to make a meaningful connection with stories from the Imagination Library for Erie County.

For the time being, the entire program is virtual thanks to Ms. Trish, Ms. Karen and others who use song, drama, movement, and visual arts to make the books children are receiving in the mail each month come alive while creating purposeful shared reading. Watch an episode of PLAYtime below!

Original Research on Imagination Library

A recently published research study titled “'Dream More, Care More, Learn More, and Be More’: The Imagination Library Influencing Storybook Reading and Early Literacy,” in Reading Psychology confirms the positive impact the Imagination Library program has on kindergarten literacy. This research is based on the initial research findings in Erie County’s experience with the Imagination Library and children entering kindergarten after only two years of implementation. The research was conducted by Dr. Chad Waldron, assistant professor of education, literacy at University of Flint-Michigan. Dr. Waldron was also supported locally by Penn State Behrend, particularly Dr. Charisse Nixon and the research staff of the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research, and Evaluation (CORE).

Download the one page summary of research

Download the published research