The Beebe School District began an intensive focus on literacy in 2015. After much data collection and research, it was discovered that approximately 60% of our students come to kindergarten already behind in readiness skills. With that discovery, as a district, we began developing a plan to change that statistic. We worked as a prekindergarten through sixth-grade committee of about 30 individuals to map out a District strategic reading plan. Recently, you may have seen, the Governor and state has now initiated the RISE (Reading Initiative for Student Excellence) which correlates to Beebe School District’s plan, almost perfectly.
One of our reading goals in the plan is to share the literacy experience with children sooner. The White County Literacy Council, and several districts in the county, including Beebe, has joined together and would like to launch Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The goal of this program is to ensure that every child, birth to age five, has the opportunity to receive a personal set of books, one delivered monthly to his/her home mailbox, prior to entering school. Since literacy, or the lack of literacy skills, eventually impacts our community, we are asking for community partners to join us in this endeavor.
Sponsorship for one child to receive a book each month is $25 a year; five children, $125; and ten children, $250 …and so on. We want to invite you to join us, as a business or individual in our community, in supporting this effort. Of course, our plan includes many activities that focus on literacy, but because early literacy is so crucial, this is one of the first priorities. The idea is to provide early intervention and prevent a child from ever getting behind.
Our partners in this important program will be acknowledged in a variety of ways. We will place the names of partners who support us with $100 or more on the electronic sign. We will list all partners on the District’s web site and in the newspaper.
I hope you will join us in this very important effort to show how the community of Beebe bands together to instill the love of reading in our children. Please feel free to contact Dr. Belinda Shook, Ms. Annita Blauser or Ms. Nona Richey at 501-882-5463 with any questions. As always, the Beebe School District is extremely appreciative of the support we receive from our community.
Dr. Belinda P. Shook