Chilliwack’s Imagination Library program gets financial boost

Baker Newby has will match donations up to $20,000 made to the local Imagination Library progam

The best way to ensure a healthy future is to raise well-educated children, and the best way to ensure children are educated is to promote literacy from a young age.

Which is where the Dolly Parton Imagination Library comes in. Started in 1995, the program aims at improving childhood literacy from birth to age five, when school typically starts, by providing an age-appropriate book each month in the mail. Classic books like The Little Engine that Could, or books reflecting Canadian values and history like Counting on Snow, which was written by Harrison’s Maxwell Newhouse.

And since its conception, the country singer’s literacy program has spread across the globe, with 170 Canadian affiliates, 35 of which are in B.C., including the Fraser Valley Library branches in Chilliwack.

Brought to the Valley in the spring of 2018 through the efforts of Brian Martin and Sharon Blaker and the local Optimist Club chapter, the Imagination Library program works, in part, through the support of community members.

And one of the first to step up to the plate to offer support was Baker Newby, a law firm that’s been serving both Chilliwack and Abbotsford for the past eight decades.

RELATED: Chilliwack kids to benefit from Dolly Parton literacy initiative

“We’re grateful to have been part of (both) communities for such a long period,” said Baker Newby’s administrator, Tim Wurtz.

“Many of our lawyers and associates are passionate advocates for early literacy. Children with access to books and exposed to reading prior to kindergarten are more likely to achieve academic success,” added Wurtz.

Which is why Baker Newby has pledged to match, dollar for dollar, every donation received until Sept. 1, 2019, up to $20,000.

When the Imagination Library program first came to town, Martin said their goal was to round up enough community support to provide 3,000 children with books that would “foster a love of reading.”

And now, through Baker Newby’s generous donation pledge, Martin says Chilliwack’s Imagination Library program has received the boost they needed to turn those ambitions into a reality: this amount will provide approximately 200 children with a book per month from the time they’re born until they turn five.

“Community interest and support has been extremely encouraging,” said Martin.

“Baker Newby’s matching program will accelerate achievement of our three-year goals by immediately delivering high quality books to local children who might not otherwise have access.

“Their generous support is the big break we’ve been hoping for and a shining example of their commitment to the children, families and the community.”

To support the Fraser Valley Imagination Program and have your gifts matched by Baker Newby, please visit www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/35285. Donations can also be by contacting ImaginationLibaryFraserValley@outlook.com.

With files from Jessica Peters.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RCMP, ERT attending incident at Cheam First Nation

Few details are available about the incident, which saw more than a dozen police cars attend

Chiefs kick off exhibition pre-season stint at Hope Arena

Catch the Chilliwack Chiefs on the ice as they prepare for fresh season

Stellar Haze offers up ‘organic rock’ at Memorial Park

Trio hitting the stage for their first live performance this Friday

Kent quarry opposition receives federal support

Green Party leader Elizabeth May wrote to the provincial government to oppose the quarry application

Agassiz United Church to host 37th annual garage sale

The annual sale will take place on Saturday, Sept. 7

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read