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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 23, 2006

Imagination Library reaches keiki

 •  Kids book program growing

Advertiser Staff

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library became available in Hawai'i to select communities in October 2005 and since then has reached 1,748 young children, said Mary Ann Nemoto, senior project coordinator with the Learning to Grow program at the Center on the Family at the University of Hawai'i.

"We're feeling really good about the participation rate and how many we have been able to enroll," Nemoto said.

Of the estimated 14,280 children ages birth to 4 estimated to live in the eligible areas, the program has so far reached about 12 percent of them. That is short of the program's goal of 20 percent of eligible children, Nemoto said.

"The word still needs to get out to families that this is available to them," Nemoto said.

The UH Center on the Family and the state Department of Human Services launched the program for students who live in Kalihi; Ka'u, Kea'au and Pahoa on the Big Island; and Maui County, including Moloka'i and Lana'i.

If the pilot program is a success, it could be expanded to other areas of the state soon, Nemoto said.

To register a child in one of these designated areas, go to the office of the public elementary school nearest to where the child lives to complete an application. There is no cost to enroll or receive books.