Local Matters

Community Sponsors

richter family foundation

August 25, 2016 - 2:10pm

Press release:

The Richter Family Foundation runs a program that gives books to children under age 5 through The Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It has been in operation since 2004 and the Oakfield-Alabama, Elba, Pavilion, and Pembroke school districts participate in the program. Recently, Byron-Bergen was added to the program.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a set of books beginning with the children’s classic "The Little Engine That Could." Each month a new, carefully selected age-appropriate book will be mailed in your child’s name directly to your home. Best of all it is a FREE GIFT! There is no cost or obligation to your family.

To be eligible in the Byron-Bergen School District, the child must live in the Byron-Bergen School District and must be between the ages of birth and his/her 5th birthday.

A committee representing the Byron-Bergen School District, the Byron and Bergen Communities, and the Byron-Bergen Library is partnering with the Richter Family Foundation to bring the Imagination Library to the children.

If your zip code is 14020, 14021, 14058, 14143 or 14482, the only way to register is to fill out a registration form and mail it to the address indicated on the form. The forms can be found at the Byron Town Hall, the Bergen Town and Village Offices, the Byron-Bergen Library, and the Byron-Bergen Elementary Office.  

If your zip code is 14416, 14422, 14428, 14429 or 14470, you may fill out and send in a registration form or, you may register online at www.imaginationlibrary.com by clicking on the box “register my child” and following the directions.

The Byron-Bergen Imagination Library Committee consists of: Nancy Bailey, librarian, Bergen Public Library; Anna Marie Barclay, Village of Bergen mayor and retired teacher; Donna Gerrard, Byron resident and a mom and grandmother; and Brian Meister, Byron-Bergen Elementary School principal.

They know that you, the parents and your children, will love the Imagination Library and encourage you to sign up your children today. A family can register several children within the household as long as they are under age 5.

July 8, 2010 - 4:53pm

A unique, free book program -- offered by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library -- is going to be offered to children living in the Elba School District and registration begins Monday, July 12.

It's for infants to age 5 and has been offered in the Oakfield-Alabama School District for about six years.

Imagination Library's goal is to provide every preschooler enrolled with his or her own book collection. The books are carefully selected and mailed once a month to the child until age 5.

Locally, the program was dubbed the "R.E.D. Express" by the Basom-based Richter Family Foundation, which has given away approximately 13,000 books to the program so far. The mascot of the R.E.D. Express is a choo-choo train. R.E.D. stands for "Read Every Day."

In fact, the Richters formed their nonprofit foundation (a 501c3) in 2004 specifically to offer this program in Genesee County. Now, they are eager to spread this learning opportunity to more children, this time in Elba.

"Our hopes are to get to the whole county eventually," Tim Richter said this afternoon.

Dolly's Imagination Library program operates in 46 states, Canada and the United Kingdom. This year, the 25-millionth book will be mailed to some fortunate tot.

The country superstar started this program in her birthplace, Sevier County, Tenn. She never forgot her dirt-poor beginnings. Growing up, she says she could only dream of owning her very own books.

Today, she wants children everywhere to feel the excitement of getting a new book delivered every month -- to keep! So she decided to replicate the program in any community willing to support it financially.

The Imagination Library partners with nonprofits to promote literacy.

It starts the program in a community where a bona fide nonprofit foundation is capable of receiving donations on its behalf. Businesses and other donors help financially support the program via the nonprofit, which supplies informational brochures, handles administrative duties and serves as the liaison with Dolly's foundation.

Parents and guardians, of course, must register their little ones and help them learn to read.

In Oakfield-Alabama, the Richter Family Foundation has funded the entire program without sponsors, but that will not be feasible as the program grows. Thus, Elba businesses and residents are encouraged to participate.

"Get in on the excitement and opportunity to help the children of your community," says Linda Richter in an announcement about the R.E.D. Express.

All children who are 5 and under are welcome to participate and parents are encouraged to pick up a registration brochure at the following locations: The Elba School District Office, M & T Bank, Elba Village offices, Elba Town offices and the Yellow Goose Market.

Simply mailing the registration form to the address on the brochure will enroll your child.  

To become the next reading depot and begin this program in your area, please call The Richter Family Foundation at 585-948-9675.

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