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Storybridge in Amarillo providing a free book every month to over 2,000 children

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 9:29 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - If your child lives in Potter or Randall County and is under the age of five, they can receive a free book delivered to your home every month.

After only six months in existence, Storybridge in Amarillo has become the largest Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliate in the state of Texas, providing a free book every month to over 2,000 children in Potter and Randall counties.

Now they have plans to serve even more with the community’s help.

Storybridge’s goal is to serve 5,000 kids as quickly as they can.

“Our next milestone is to get to 5,000 (kids) as quickly as we can. The bigger we get, the more expensive it gets and so we really would welcome funding. This is not meant to be a program that just over in two, three or four years, this is meant to be ongoing and to lift the whole level of early childhood literacy throughout Potter and Randall County, and eventually the whole Panhandle of Texas,” said Jim Whitton, funding coordinator and volunteer at Storybridge in Amarillo.

The organization pays for each book so that families don’t have to pay anything.

As the program continues to grow, the more expensive it gets. So, now Storybridge is looking for more funding.

“This is entirely possible because our community has been so generous and believes in the power of early literacy and access for all kids. This is something that the Dollywood Foundation provides the quality book list, the shipping service. So, for Storybridge to be able to say yes to over 2,000 local kids now, it’s entirely due to people who have believed in this and have invested in this program with us to serve local kids,” said Chandra Perkins, executive director of Storybridge in Amarillo.

Storybridge believes this program is needed in our community because Amarillo has seen a decline in kindergarten readiness in the last five years, meaning fewer and fewer of our kindergartners are testing ready to learn to read.

They believe that’s due to various reasons, one of which is not having access to books.

“This program provides our community, not only free access for every child in our area, but some novel, fun, new experience every month,” said Perkins.

“The whole idea really is to have kids at kindergarten be all at the same level when they start kindergarten because that improves academic outcomes throughout the rest of their time in school,” said Whitton.

If you’d like to enroll your child, visit StorybridgeAMA.org.

If you’re interested in donating to the program, click here.

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