Sunday, September 28, 2014

Your Kids Can Get Free Books: Here’s How

A terrific neighbor of mine (Thanks, Shannon!) recently told me that Frankie could get free books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. All you have to do is sign your kid up and you get a free book every month from birth until your kid turns 5.  It’s a little tricky to figure out how exactly to get the free books because every area has a different protcol, so I did the research on how to get your free books in a lot of the areas that I have Facebook and IRL friends. I have to admit, however, that in my quest to get you free books, I quickly became disheartened because there are a lot of areas that don’t have the program. Below is a list of places that I looked up with links to get you hooked up or information to get you your swag. I also have information on how to find out for yourself if your area has the program. The list is organized by state, then within state, by county/city/area. 

In Gratiot and Isabella County in Michigan, the Gratiot‑Isabella Regional Education Services District runs the program. Fill out the form and mail it in. 

In Ashtabula County, Ohio parents can sign up at any Public Library in Ashtabula County including: Andover Public Library, Ashtabula County District Library, Conneaut Public Library, Geneva Public Library, Grand Valley Public Library, Harbor-Topky Memorial Library, Henderson Memorial Public Library, Kingsville Public Library and Rock Creek Public Library.

In Delaware County Ohio, the United Way of Delaware County runs the program but they charge $25. I don’t know what the eff that’s all about. I emailed about how to get a scholarship. I have received no reply. I’m disappointed that Delaware County is not offering free books and doesn’t seem to want to tell people how to get a scholarship for free books. Fill out the form online if you want to participate in the equivalent of a $25 a year surprise book club.

In Erie County, Ohio, the program is run by the Erie County Community Foundation. I emailed the contact person who informed me that application forms are available at the Sandusky Library Children's desk.  You can fill it out there and give it to the person at the desk.

In Fairfield County, Ohio (Oh, how I miss you…), the United Way of Fairfield County runs the program. Fill out the form and mail it in.

In Fulton County, Ohio, registration is old school, but I managed to get a digital (though, it’s barely digital) copy that you can download and mail into 604 S Shoop Ave Wauseon, Ohio 43567.

In Kirtland, Ohio go to the Kirtland Public Library or go to the Imagination Library website and register online.

In Knox County, Ohio, they are in the process of putting the registration form on their website, but in the meantime, you can register by register by contacting United Way of Knox County either by phone 740-397-5721 or by email at 

In Toledo, Ohio the Women's Initiative of United Way of Greater Toledo handles registration online.

Union County, Ohio: I emailed Union County, Ohio because the online registration link was broken. I got it fixed, so you’re welcome, because now you can register online. They also sent me a PDF of the form, so you can register via snail mail as well.

West Columbus Suburbs and Jackson, Ohio: Easter Seals Central and Southeast Ohio currently serves families living in the following zip codes: 43228, 43026, and 45640, which is basically Hilliard and Jackson (Other than this sentence, I won’t comment on how weird it is that Hilliard and a place that is almost in West Virginia have teamed up on this). I emailed them because their website said to in order to register, which led to me getting you access to the online form. 

In Spartanburg County, South Carolina you just register online on the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library website.

If I didn’t list your area, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you and your kids. It just means I got tired of looking up how to get free books or you didn’t reply to my request on Facebook for your county. There are two ways to figure out if your area has an Imagination Library Program. First, go to the Register My Child link on the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library webpage and follow the directions. If your area is available you’ll have two options: Register online or register through your area’s liaison. If you have to register through your area’s liaison, you’ll have to Google and go to the website of the organization that handles your area’s Imagination Library. There’s sometimes a Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library icon on the page, which you click on, or the information is hidden under the organizations initiatives or programs tab on the webpage.

I have some sad news, though. Another reason I may not have listed your area is because your area doesn’t have a program. For example, Franklin and Licking Counties in Ohio don’t have program. It’s basically non-existent in the greater Cleveland area. Lots of counties in Maryland don’t have the program, like Anne Arundel, MoCo, Howard, and PG. Virginia is also sparse (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties don’t have programs). DC is weird with only DC Cluster 29 (centered in Bethesda) and Ketchum Elementary having programs. Greater LA is also dead with programs only in Santa Barbara and Temecula (though good luck registering in Temecula because the contact person’s email address isn’t correct or doesn’t exist). South Carolina was weird too because if you live in Greer, you can get books if you live in Spartanburg County, but not if you live in Greenville County.

I guess one way around this unavailability issue is to register your child with a relative who lives in an area with a program, but that would be a total Slytherin move and I would NEVER suggest doing something like that. Get my drift? 

Need to do a mitzvah? Be sure to share my link with your friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment