Learn About Youth Reading Programs

Through a combination of local partners and the library, there are three great reading programs for youth and families 
to take advantage of. Learn about them here and feel free to sign-up and participate.

Two are available throughout the year. The other is available during the summers. 

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is an early literacy program for families in participating areas across the nation. This program delivers quality children's books to families, delivered monthly to their door, for youth between the ages of 0-5. It's a wonderful way for families to grow personal libraries for their children, while building lifelong readers and lovers of books at an early age.

The United Way of Abilene has made it possible for this program to be offered to families residing within Taylor County, as well as Jones, Fisher, Shackleford, Runnels, Coleman, and Callahan counties too. It's FREE to take advantage of this program, all you need to do is Register Online.

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Growing Readers: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationally recognized initiative designed to help parents prepare their children for kindergarten. Research has shown that children get ready to read long before they enter school, and the best way to start is to read to them.

  • Who Can Participate: Any child, up to age 5, who has not entered kindergarten.
  • When Can We Register: Anytime as this is a year-round program.
  • What Books Can We Read: Any books from home, the library, books read at storytimes, and even audiobooks count. You can even read favorite books multiple times.
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  • Can I Count Books We've Read Before Starting the Program: No, only books read after you start the program are valid.
  • Will They Earn a Prize: Your child will receive a bookmark and wearable button badge for every 200 books read. At 1,000 books, they will receive a final bookmark and button, a certificate of completion, and a wearable bracelet to show everyone your child has completed this challenge. Additionally, we will add a leaf to a tree in the library marking those who have completed the challenge.

How to Participate in the Program

  1. Visit your any library branch to pick up a registration flyer. Fill out the bottom of the form, one for each child eligible, and return to your library.
  2. You may begin reading books in this program by following one of two options:
    1. Via Reading App: for iOS & Android users, visit your app store and download the free 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten app. Register your child and then begin entering the books read. Bring your device to the library to show library staff your books read to collect prizes at every 200 books read.
    2. Via Reading Logs: pickup a reading log from library staff. Each page will contain 200 stars representing books. For each book read, color in the star, and once you've completed them all, return the log to the library to collect the prize and to receive the next reading log.
  3. Keep track of the books you read, then stop by the library for every 200 books read to receive your prize for that accomplishment, which will be a wearable button highlighting your progress, and a companion bookmark.
  4. Upon reaching 1,000 books read, your child will receive their final button and bookmark, as well as a certificate of completion, a wearable bracelet with words to show they have completed the program (to show to others), and a leaf (in your child's honor) will be added to a tree at the library to commemorate all youth who have completed the challenge.

Please Note: Once your child enters kindergarten, or reaches the age of 6, he/she will no longer be eligible to participate in this program if they have not yet completed the challenge.

Summer Reading Club Program

Every summer the library puts together a Summer Reading Club for all ages to participate in. A new theme is selected each year and library staff creates a host of programming and activities to support that theme.

These clubs are also important for helping youth to avoid the summer slide by keeping up with reading when they are not in school. Not only does the library have an incredible selection of books. we also host reading challenges and activities to encourage reading. Don't miss your chance to participate.

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