Archer County Residents Fight Illiteracy

Many kids in Archer County don't get to hear a fun story from a book at home, simply because their parents don't have any they can read to them.

In fact, more than half of low income families in the country face this problem. Studies show that's probably why 15% of adults in Archer County don't know how to write or read. Now some county residents are very concerned because experts say this could have big consequences.

"What they've found is that when you don't have books in the home they're not being read to at an early age and then later when they do start school they're not as prepared as kids who were read to," said Bristi Cure, the chairman for the Archer County Imagination Library.

What's even worse is that two thirds of students who are not reading proficiently by the end of 4th grade end up in jail or on welfare.

Cure says something needs to be done to combat illiteracy in Archer County. That's why she and other community members are starting a program called Imagination Library which was founded by the famous singer and actress Dolly Parton. The program provides an age appropriate book every month to newborns and kids up to 5 years old.

"They're mailed to them every month like clock work so you're providing a library for those kids at an early age so even if the parents aren't buying them books or reading to them they are in the home," said Cure.

Any kid who fits in the age group could receive the books regardless of their parents income.

Archer City resident Vicki Ostermann says, "It may not be something that I would go out and choose for myself but it's something that I'll be given and so I think it will be a neat way to expose her to more different things."

Cure says what the program needs to get started in Archer County is donations. Anyone in Texoma could sponsor a child by just donating $30. That would cover an entire year worth of books.

You can mail a donation to the North Texas United Way but make sure you specify that it is for the Archer County Imagination Library Fund.

The program will have a kick off event called Lama, Lama, Red Pajama. It will be a pajama party and it will take place at the Archer Public Library on February 11th at 6:30 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids and register for the program.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6