President Al Hailey and the members of the Sunshine Coast Lions Club are the first to lend their support to the Imagination Library, an effort that sees books sent to all registered children from birth to age five.
The Imagination Library is part of the early learning programming through School District No. 46 and is organized by Early Learning co-ordinator Kirsten Deasey. The SPARK! Program has been designated as the official registration site for the Imagination Library.
Parents who attend SPARK! are offered the opportunity, free of charge, to have an age-appropriate book mailed directly to their home in their child's name once a month. The Canadian Language and Literacy Network reports that reading books with young children is an important way families can support development of language and literacy.
Research shows that children who have books in their homes come to school with important knowledge that is predictive of early literacy success.
"By pairing the Imagination Library with a family support program such as SPARK!, parents receive valuable information on ways to engage young children when sharing these books together," said Deasey.
Lions Club publicity chair Robert Allen is pleased to have the connection to this program, as the club "realizes the value of books and of reading books."
The Sunshine Coast Lions are the first group to come forward with an endorsement of the program and are "very enthused" to do so. "Our members know how important it is for a young person to read," added Lions member Paul Adams. "One of the best predictors of future success in schools is the literacy level of a student in the early years. This program helps to address that challenge and ensures that good reading materials are available to all families. We hope that other service groups hear the roar of the Sunshine Coast Lions and will also want to lend their support."