November is National Family Literacy Month

November 1st marks the beginning of National Family Literacy Month and is National Literacy Day, which started in 1994 as a celebration to spread awareness and foster family literacy by encouraging parents and caregivers to read to their children. 

National Family Literacy Month is a time to instill the love of reading with your child/children.   Reading promotes the fundamental skills for future success in school, work, and life. Books open our minds and broaden our view on the world.  Something magical happened each time a parent opens a book and reads to their child.  Learning takes place! New memories and doors to adventures begin and your family bond strengthens and grows. 

If you want to help your child develop a love for reading and learning, there is no better time to start than right now. Infants love to look at and turn colorful pages.  Older children love to listen to stories over and over until they can help you read it and, eventually, read it to you. So many wonderful new adventures and stories can be experienced on the pages of each new book. 

Beginning in April 2021, through the efforts of Ardent Solutions, Inc. in partnership with the Allegany County Early Childhood Development and Education Coalition, Allegany County became a member of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Currently, 1,177 Allegany County children under the age of five race to their mailbox every month to receive a free, new book with the purpose of building their own age-appropriate library at home. 479 children have already graduated from the program by turning 5 years of age.

Additionally, parents are emailed fun, educational activities for each book their child receives. Collaborating with the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES Early Childhood students, the Early Childhood Development Coalition Coordinator, Robin Fuller, explores ways to incorporate activities that encourage fine and gross motor skills, literacy skills, social and emotional wellbeing, and language development. Parents are their child’s first teachers, and the Coalition is committed to supporting parents as they help build and nurture their child’s development.

To reinforce the lessons and activities sent home to families, partnering libraries, daycares, head start programs, and early learning centers offer events using the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or would like to learn how you can help financially support this effort, please contact Robin Fuller at As a community, there is no grater gift we can give a child than the love of reading.