Childrens Policy Council discusses reading, community programs

Published 9:29 am Thursday, October 12, 2023

The Lowndes County Childrens Policy Council held its regular monthly meeting on Oct. 4 at the John ‘Big John’ Williams Courthouse, where members discussed ongoing projects for Lowndes County youth as well as upcoming community events. 

Reading was a hot topic at the meeting as one of the first items discussed was Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program which provides children ages five and under with one free book per month.

Families interested in learning more about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or signing up for the program are encouraged to visit the website at https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/.

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State Childrens Policy Council Manager Liletta Jenkins emphasized the importance of children reading, schools ‘ focusing on reading proficiency, and ways parents can ensure there are books in the home to help kickstart their reading skills.

“Governer Ivey launched a program in August and did a statewide extension to try to make the program [Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library] available for all children across the state of Alabama,” Jenkins said. “In doing so she pledged $4.1 million to expand the program. We want to encourage everyone to get the word out so we can get more children in Lowndes County signed up. All parents have to do is go on the website and sign their children up and they will receive free books.”

Lowndes County Public Schools Superintendent Samita Jeter announced another reading tool that will soon be available to children in Lowndes County, the ‘Get Lit Bus’.

“The name of the bus plays off of the word ‘lit’ and will stand for Get Lit with Literacy,” Jeter said. “The bus will travel to different communities on Saturdays and the purpose is to encourage children to engage in different reading activities. The bus will have shelves full of books and laptops with ebooks for children to read and engage with.”

Brant McCray also appeared in front of the council to spread awareness for current programs at the Family Guidance Center, including the Fall Food Basket program. Any community members can sign up for the program regardless of their participation with the Family Guidance Center, and families who sign up will receive a free basket of food at the end of the month.

The Childrens Policy Council will host its next meeting on Dec. 6 at the Lowndes County Courthouse.