PARIS — The Paris Public Library was recently selected by Raising Readers and the Maine Family Literacy Initiative as one of eight public libraries in the state to house a Raising Readers collection of books. The cooperative partnership promotes the importance of reading, family literacy and access to books.

On June 10, staff from the Paris Public Library attended the Maine Family Literacy Grant Awards Ceremony at the J. Richard Martin Community Center in Biddeford, where Children’s Librarian Joan Parker was given the initial collection by First Lady Karen Baldacci and where she met with Former First Lady Barbara Bush.

Raising Readers, now in its 10th year, has distributed more than 1.3 million books to more than 166,000 Maine children. The books are distributed at birth and at subsequent health care visits with physicians and nurses passing out books and discussing with families the importance of reading.

Raising Readers was conceived by the Libra Foundation to foster a love of reading, improve literacy among young children and improve the health and educational outcomes of Maine children. The Maine Family Literacy Initiative is a program of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, which is designed to support the development and improvement of family literacy throughout Maine.

The libraries chosen to participate in the project were the Belfast Free Library, Camden Public Library, Cherryfield Public Library, Paris Public Library, Skowhegan Public Library, Waldoboro Public Library and the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft.

For more information about the books and the partnership, contact the Paris Public Library by calling 732-6994 or e-mailing [email protected] The Raising Readers collection will be featured this summer in the library’s Children’s Room.

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