03/25/11 AHFC and Best Beginnings to Kick Off Dolly Parton Imagination Library Partnership

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Friday, March 25, 2011

What: Kickoff of AHFC's partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library; parents will sign up children to receive a free book monthly until their sixth birthday. Children will receive their first free book at the event (The Little Engine that Could). Best Beginnings will lead a story time following a short presentation.

When: Wednesday, March 30, 10:30 a.m.

Who: Families with preschool children; AHFC CEO/Executive Director and staff; Best Beginnings; and local housing leaders

Where: Gateway Learning Center located in Park View Manor, 801 Karluk

Why: 60 percent of kindergartners in the neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not own a single book; 4th graders with fewer than 10 books in their home had lower average reading scores than their peers with more; children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years; about 40 percent of Alaska's children are entering kindergarten without those skills

Best Beginnings has three top priorities:

  1. Promoting parents as their children's first and most important teacher
  2. Making quality child care and early learning opportunities available to all families who want them
  3. Making early learning a priority in Alaska

AHFC is contributing staff time to help low-income families become aware of the program and will donate $5,000 to help subsidize books for the project.

AHFC is a self-supporting public corporation with offices in 16 communities statewide. It provides statewide financing for multi-family complexes, congregate facilities, and single-family homes, with special loan options for low- to moderate-income borrowers, veterans, teachers, health care professionals, and those living in rural areas of the state.

AHFC also provides energy and weatherization programs, low-income rental assistance in 17 communities, and special programs for the homeless and those seeking to become self-sufficient. AHFC has contributed more than $1.9 billion to Alaska's state budget revenues through cash transfers, capital projects and debt-service payments.

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For more information, contact: Sherrie Simmonds, Corporate Communications Officer, 907 330 8447, ssimmond@ahfc.state.ak.us