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Begin with Books is a program that puts new, high-quality children’s books into the hands of low-income children and their families. Our partners are the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, People’s Health Center, Lincoln Medical Education Partnership, Health 360, and the Nebraska Urban Indian Medical Center.
When children under the age of five, visit one of these health centers, for immunizations, or well-child checks, they receive an age-appropriate book, and suggestions for the parent about promoting early literacy in the home, a Library Learning Time schedule, and information about Lincoln City Libraries. Staff at these medical centers has been trained to talk to parents about the importance of reading aloud to their child, using the library, and other literacy promoting activities.
Through First Book, we are able purchase books for half the retail price. This means that a donation of $25.00 buys a child seven books from birth to age five, building a small personal library and making book ownership a reality for a low-income family.
Since 2014, over 6,000 books have been given away through this program and our partners.