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Local donor anonymously supports MCF children’s reading program

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 2:48 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - Recently, an area resident donated approximately $875 to the Marietta Community Foundation (MCF) to fund the participation of 35 local children in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program for one year.

The worldwide program provides books to children from birth to age five, and for several years, MCF has provided the funding to cover registration costs and enable local children to participate free of charge.

“One of the things that we do as an organization is fundraise on our local children’s behalf, so that way their parents and families don’t have to pay for the registration. We really try to tackle that and put it on our own shoulders,” said Mason Beuhring, MCF’s communications and program services director.

Beuhring noted that the program helps children establish their reading skills early in life.

“It’s a great way to help children bridge what’s called the million-word gap. Children who are read to on a regular basis or have access to print are actually exposed to roughly one million more words than a child who isn’t before they hit grade school,” Beuhring said. “So this is a great way to bridge that gap and help make sure that every child in the area, despite socio-economic status or background still has the same opportunity to start their educational career on the right foot,” he added.

MCF offers a waiting list for children whose families are interested in taking advantage of the organization’s funding support and registering them for the program. As older children age out of the program, younger children can be added. According to Beuhring, the anonymous donor sought to help children who were on the waiting list to enroll in the program right away.

“Our anonymous donor saw that these 35 children were on our waiting list and wanted to make sure that every child had the opportunity to get off the waiting list and get in the registration pool,” he said. Beuhring added that the organization will continue raising funds to cover the cost of the children’s registration fees in subsequent years, as well.

Those who would like to learn more about the Imagination Library are asked to call MFC at (740) 373-3286.

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