Through the generosity of grants and sponsorships, libraries are being placed at childcare centers to allow parents to conveniently borrow books to read with their child every day. This encourages the early literacy skills that prepare children to enter school ready to succeed. The first Parent Lending Library was placed in 2004. There are now 130 Parent Lending Libraries in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. Major sponsors have included Verizon Reads, Early Learning Coalition of Polk County, Heartland for Children, Polk County CDBG, and Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. Parents and children borrowed 37,124 books last year and an average of 6890 kids had access each month during the school year!

Each set-up of a Parent Lending Library includes: a revolving bookshelf, 200-250 new age-appropriate books, a plaque recognizing the sponsor, and parent tips for effective one-on-one reading. Some of our recent sponsors are Heartland for Children, Verizon, Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland and the Early Learning Coalition of Polk County. For more information, contact: