Pohnpei-- All children born on Yap will get a new age-appropriate book each month, from birth until their fifth birthday under the Young Island Readers program piloted in the state.
The College of Micronesia-Federated States of Micronesia supports the program through a $15,000 donation.
Books are mailed, individually wrapped, to the family’s post office box. This is made possible through a partnership between Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Habele, a 501c3 nonprofit serving students across Micronesia.. The Imagination Library offers children free, home-delivered books through collaborations with local nonprofits.
Habele is the local partner in Micronesia. The program will be piloted in Yap this year with the vision to expand across all FSM states in the coming years.
In 2020, all children born on Yap Proper will be eligible so long as they remain domiciled on Yap. This includes the significant population of outer islanders residing on Yap. To enroll, the parents simply complete a one-page form and provide the child’s date of birth and the family P.O. box. Forms are available at Yap hospital in English, Yapese and Woleian.
COM-FSM’s recent donation of $15,000 was matched dollar for dollar by Professor Roger Gale, a long-term supporter of the people of Micronesia. Together with donations from diverse individuals, these funds allowed Habele to launch the program and provide books for the next five years to all the children who sign up over the next 12 months.
Giving is perhaps most important when it is most difficult; this donation is a direct, high yield investment in our future students by the college, and a manifestation of our commitment to the success of the FSM as embodied in our mission. Young Island Readers aims to serve as a direct, efficient, and empowering model for developing early literacy across the FSM.