FULTON – At a recent Fulton Sunrise Rotary meeting, Rotarian Linda Eagan introduced Mike Eagan, president of the Oswego County Literacy Coalition, who spoke about improving the literacy rates of all residents in Oswego County.
In Oswego County, only 3% of middle school students are reading and math proficient.
Almost 50% of the students in Oswego County are eligible for free lunch.
Poverty has a significant impact on success and motivation.
The Literacy Coalition hopes to close the reading gap and improve graduation rates by growing literacy skills in all children prior to entering kindergarten.
One way to accomplish this goal is to replicate Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in our community.
Imagination Library provides an age appropriate book to all registered children in a geographic area each month from birth to age five.
Dolly Parton’s Foundation covers the cost of the books; the local community pays the shipping and handling charges to mail the books to the children.
The average cost to the community is approximately $25 per child.
The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County applied for a grant through the Alliance for Economic Inclusion Project and was just notified that they have been awarded $250,000 to start an Imagination Library program for 4,000 children for a five-year period.
They hope to start the program somewhere in Oswego County this year.
The Literacy Coalition is continuing to identify additional sponsors in order to sustain and grow this program throughout Oswego County.
The Fulton Sunrise Rotary meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at Mimi’s.