The program isn’t economically driven, said Elaine Garver, a committee member.
“This is an opportunity to get book in all children hands,” said Garver, who added each book includes a reading guide for parents.
The free book program has shown improvement in Middletown’s third grade reading scores.
The group looked at four years of data and saw that for each individual year, more children who had received Imagination Library books passed the third grade reading test than those who were not part of the program prior to kindergarten.
The test results spanned four consecutive third grade classes. The first class, 2012, saw a nine percent difference between the two groups. The second class saw an 11 percent difference. The third class saw a six percent difference, and the fourth class saw a 14 percent difference.
The goal, Garver said, is to raise $30,000 at the luncheon, about half what is needed to maintain the program for one year.
Cea Cohen Elliott, the featured speaker the first year, is returning for the group’s 10-year celebration, said Ginger Bruggeman, a committee member. She said this is the ninth luncheon, but the group’s 10th anniversary because the group spent its first year raising funds to expand the program to Monroe, Edgewood and Madison school districts.
Elliott is a motivational speaker, wellness and fitness coach, and seminar and workshop leader. Bruggeman said Elliott’s humor-filled motivational presentations have been experienced by thousands whose lives have been “changed forever…for the better.”
Garver called Elliott “very entertaining” and she understands the importance of early childhood development.
“She’s been a great support for us,” Garver said of the Beavercreek resident.
Jan Sherbin, author of the Fiona Book “Hip, Hippo Hooray for FIONA!,” will be at the event for book signing. The books will be available at the luncheon.
HOW TO GO:
WHAT: Let Imagination Bloom Luncheon
WHERE: Majors Event Barn, 6393 Ohio 63, Monroe
GUEST SPEAKER: Cea Cohen Elliott
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 7
HOW MUCH: $30. Lunch provided by Two Women In A Kitchen
CALL: 513-424-7369. Deadline is March 28 and all seats are reserved.