Your Child Reads provides free books to local children | Entertainment

IOSCO COUNTY — Your Child Reads of Alcona & Iosco counties (YCR) are raising funds for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Started in 2017, YCR raised funds to purchase age appropriate books sent directly to children from birth to age 5 via the US Postal Service.

YCR is based out of the Iosco Regional Educational Service Agency (IRESA).

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a charitable service available across the nation for local volunteers to raise funds to ship free books to families.

While there is no cost to the child or family, the cost to purchase books is $2.10 per month or about $25 per child, per year. Parents may sign up their children at any library in Alcona or Iosco Counties as long as they are a resident of those respective areas.

Their most recent fundraising letter raised $450, alongside $200 from a bottle drive, $100 from the The Friends of the Curtis Twp. Library, alongside Friends of the Alcona County Library and the Tawas Elks Club.

Private citizens gave $250.

They also secured two grants, $3,000 from Consumers Energy and $2,000 from the First Federal Foundation in Alpena.

In February, YCR stopped service due to a shortage of funds.

“We literally kind of ran out of money,” said Phyllis Rhodes, chairperson of YCR.

Bills to pay for books to the 650 children enrolled in Imagination Library run from $1,000 to $1,500 a month.

After meeting with representatives at Imagination Library, Rhodes said they are scheduled to start back up in September this year.

“This is the first time since 2017 service stopped,” said Rhodes. “We were just not having donations, not having grant money, we have to pay for books and postage and there’s not many of us in the group. Donations are very welcome.”

For those who want to donate to the YCR and raise funds for Imagination library, make checks payable to IRESA and put “Imagination Library” in the memo. Representatives for YCR can be reached at the IRESA.

For those who want to sign a child up for the Imagination Library, they can visit, or contact any of the local libraries in their area.

For all other inquiries, call IRESA at 362-3006 and ask for the Imagination Library.