Monday, 07 January 2019 12:40

Literacy Coalition Launches ‘Imagination Library’

Written by
Sandy Creek Elementary Principal Tim Filiagrault, above, as “The Cat in the Hat,” reads to his students. Sandy Creek Elementary Principal Tim Filiagrault, above, as “The Cat in the Hat,” reads to his students. Submitted photo

The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County (LCOC), recently launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the Hannibal Central School District (HCSD) with the assistance of Oswego County Legislator Terry Wilbur, and Oswego City-County Youth Bureau Executive Director Brian Chetney.

Mike Egan, LCOC president, said that the Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until their fifth birthday, regardless of the family’s income. “Working with the United Way of Greater Oswego County, we are grateful to have received the support of Legislator Wilbur and Brian Chetney to help smooth the start-up process.

“A grant of $250,000, (released at $50,000 per year for five years), from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion project enabled us to set up our program with a goal of reaching 4,000 children during the next five years. We are now diligently working to enlist additional sponsors to sustain and grow this program.

“Since we launched the Imagination Library in Hannibal in early November, 57 children have signed up. This is due in large part from the efforts of Hannibal Central School District Superintendent Christopher Staats and his focus on early literacy. We are now setting our sights on extending the program to the Sandy Creek School District in January, 2019 as part of our long-range plan to have it in place county-wide.”

Registration for the program in Sandy Creek is underway and ongoing. Official registration brochures are available at the Annie P. Ainsworth Memorial Library, the Cogswell Free Library, or Sandy Creek Elementary School office. . For more information, visit the district’s website at

The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is a growing coalition of more than 36 local organizations dedicated to improving literacy in our county. The LCOC works to address the literacy needs of people of all ages, the areas they cover include basic literacy, workforce literacy, computer literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy. “The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is dedicated to supporting and expanding literacy services so that people can work, our economy can grow, families can thrive, and our community can prosper” said Mike Egan, coalition chairperson.

An estimated 40 to 44 million adults in the United States demonstrate skills in the lowest level of prose, document, and quantitative proficiencies.

Many are unable to total an entry on a deposit slip, locate the time and place on a meeting form, or identify a piece of specific information in a brief news article (ProLiteracy Worldwide).

In Oswego County, close to 17,000 adults cannot read above a fifth-grade reading level. With the help of volunteers, donors and advocates, the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County helps adults develop their basic literacy skills.

For more information about The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, visit and click on the literacy coalition link, or find them on Facebook. Visit for more information about the program.

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