Why I Love the Upper Tanana Imagination Library

I’m part of the team of moms who brought Imagination Library to Tok and the Upper Tanana as the Upper Tanana Imagination Library. It started with Candice Jacobs then Carrie at Head Start has carried on as the extraordinary catalyst and organizer. Everyone’s efforts – along with the efforts of Best Beginnings Alaska and Barbara Brown – are part of the reason why we have this ongoing opportunity. I am absolutely thrilled and impressed with what we are able to do.

What is Imagination Library, you ask?

The Upper Tanana Imagination Library is a literacy program run through the Dollywood Foundation and Best Beginnings in Alaska to provide a free, age-appropriate book each month to children in our community who are under 5 years of age. This means that – at no cost to families – any family in Tok, Tanacross, Tetlin, Mentasta, Eagle or Northway can sign up their children ages 5 and under to receive a free book each and every month in the mail. For my 4-year-old, it’s like Christmas each month when her book arrives in our post office box.

I’m also teaching my daughter about giving back to her community, and we regularly go through her books to see which ones we can give to children who don’t have the means to buy them. We donate these through the Upper Tanana Imagination Library so they can have extra books on hand for children who need them. Anyone can donate children’s books to the program.

Here’s an example of this month’s book list so you can see the quality of books they are providing:

Group 6 (2005): A Place Called Kindergarten

Group 5 (2006): Take Care Good Night

Group 4 (2007): Gobble, Gobble, Crash!

Group 3 (2008): Rhymes Around The World or Pip & Skeak

Group 2 (2006): Mother for Choco or Just Like You

Group 1 (2006): Skippy Jon Jones Up and Dow

In addition to free books, Upper Tanana Imagination Library also organizes events like the recent one held at the Tok Library based on the book Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy. These events rotate to the different communities served by the program in the Upper Tanana Valley (Tok, Tanacross, Tetlin, Mentasta, Eagle and Northway).

For more information, visit the Upper Tanana Imagination Library website or contact Carrie Beeman at 883-8080 or kcbeeman@hotmail.com. The fiscal agent for The Tok & Tanacross Imagination Library is the Tok Community Clinic, Inc. so donations are tax-deductible.

Visit the Upper Tanana Imagination Library Page on Facebook.

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