The Umatilla County Special Library District recently received one of four statewide Outstanding Ready-To-Read project awards for its 2008-09 preschool literacy program called Take Off!
Take Off! is a 10-year-old program providing preschool literacy services to child care sites across Umatilla County.
Services include rotating book box collections, educational materials (puppets and storytelling kits), free books, story time programs, provider and caregiver training and presentations.
In 2008-09, Take Off! served 1,136 preschoolers at 43 child care sites, mentored 487 caregivers and parents, distributed 1,534 free books to preschool children and presented 50 story times.
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About half of the $60,000 to $70,000 annual budget comes from the library district and the Oregon State Library. The other half has come through local and regional support, with grants from the Umatilla County Commission on Children and Families, Wildhorse Foundation, Trust Management Services, Pacific Power Foundation and Collins Foundation.