Valdosta Daily Times

October 27, 2013

Mother shares her Imagination Library experience

Imagination Library

- — I went from having decent, stable employment with no dependents to being an unemployed, single mother in no time.

It seemed to have happened overnight. The company I worked for, for almost five years, closed down in 2005 when I was seven months pregnant with my first child.

I had a difficult time getting back into the workforce after the birth of my child. I took a part-time job to make ends meet but providing the basic necessities was all I was financially able to do for my newborn child.

Like almost every other parent, I want the best for my child. I want to make sure I provide him with the necessities to get a good head start in life.

My child’s intellect in my opinion is one of the most important traits to develop.

Reading is one of the best ways to do this. There are many benefits to reading. Some benefits include developing communications and listening skills as well as school preparation and vocabulary development. Reading to a child will help them to do better in school and therefore grow up to have greater opportunities in life.

For families with little to no income something as simple as buying an age-appropriate book can be a challenge.

 I found out about the Imagination Library Book Program through the Rotary Clubs of Valdosta. It was a dream come true for me.

Through this program my son received one age-appropriate book per month up until his fifth birthday. The books were ours to keep. It was better than going to the library because I did not have to return them by a certain date.

They were ours to keep and read over and over as much as we liked. There is pride in ownership.

Of course, having the books is only part of the solution. Parents who want to raise children to appreciate books should read aloud to the children, starting at birth (or earlier), and continuing for as long as they possibly can.

It is also important that our children view reading as fun rather than a chore. My son, Eric, is now in second grade and reads well above his grade level.

He has made all S’s and an A+ average in both reading and math since he started school (kindergarten).

Being afforded the opportunity to read to my son at our convenience has been a blessing. Thank you, Imagination Library and Valdosta Rotary, for allowing me the opportunity to set a foundation for my son and start him on the path to academic excellence!


Carla Gervin