Two NC Conference churches have leveraged outside resources to provide books for the children at their Congregations for Children partner school.
Trinity UMC in Louisburg purchased 1,500 books from Book Planet, a book warehouse in Raleigh that allows customers to fill up a bag of books for $10 or less if you purchase multiple bags. Book Planet is only open to the public one weekend a month. The times and location are posted at www.bookplanetnc.com.
With funds from their United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men and Mission and Ministry Team, Trinity UMC was able to provide each of the 300 students at Laurel Mill Elementary School with 5 books to take home to combat summer reading loss.
Rev. Kellie Gallagher contributed to the effort, “Since I am moving in June, I cleaned out my office and brought in a box of theology books I didn’t need any more and we received a $27 credit towards our purchase as well.” She said this is the second time they have done this project.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library works to provide a high quality, age-appropriate book to registered children every month at no cost to the family. Littleton United Methodist Church has been working with their local partnership to get these books into the hands of the children at their C4C school.
Rev. Stan Lewis remarks about the importance of helping children to learn to read before the end of third grade where the curriculum changes from learning to read to reading to learn. Lewis says, “There is a high correlation between children who do not learn to read by the end of third grade and the school-to-prison pipeline.” Getting books into the hands of children, especially those who may not otherwise receive them, can make a big difference in their interest and ability in reading.
United Methodist churches developing a Congregations 4 Children initiative can contact their local Smart Start on www.smartstart.org to find out the needs in their community. Churches could join the partnership by helping to promote the Dolly Patron Imagination Library in their community through marketing, registering children, providing volunteers and a facility, sponsoring a child, or meeting other needs. The DPIL website at imaginationlibrary.com also lists local affiliate organizations.