Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives delivers books, school supplies


— The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives has delivered more than 25,000 books and school supplies to nearly 50 schools, after-school programs, recreational centers and churches in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Charles, Kent, Prince George’s, and Talbot counties.

“Reading is one of the fundamental building blocks for education and imagination, and helps put our children on a path for lifelong success,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I want all children in Maryland to be excited about reading and have access to books, regardless of their family’s circumstances.”

The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives has coordinated with B.I.G., or Books for International Good Will (Rotary Club Parole Annapolis), Goodwill Greater Washington (Prince George’s County), and Velocity of Books to provide access to books for children across the state.

“From a young age, I learned the importance of reading and how to find joy in it,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford in September, when he awarded governor’s citations to the three organizations and Seat Pleasant Elementary School in Prince George’s County for excellence in promoting literacy. “We want to make sure that all of Maryland’s children have the tools to read and the encouragement that instills a lifetime love of reading.”

In 2017, books will be distributed to schools in Allegany, Cecil, Garrett, St. Mary’s, and Washington counties, and to the Salisbury Board of Education for distribution on the lower Eastern Shore. Velocity of Books will assist in transporting books by tractor-trailer to Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

For the second year, the Governor’s Office for Children is partnering with the Family League of Baltimore City to ensure that every child in Baltimore City aged five and under will be eligible to enroll free of charge in the “Governor’s Young Readers” program, established in January 2016 and inspired by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Tennessee-based nonprofit organization that mails a specifically selected, age-appropriate book each month to the homes of participating children. Every month, each enrolled child in Baltimore City receives a new book specially chosen by professionals in education, child development and early childhood literacy.

More than 3,500 children enrolled in the Governor’s Young Readers program in 2016. More information about the program is available at the Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Early Learning; Judy Centers; Head Start Collaborative; Baltimore City Child Care Resource Center; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Baltimore Infants and Toddlers Program; Enoch Pratt Free Library; Home Visiting Programs, such as Sinai Hospital and Baltimore Healthy Start; or a local family child care provider.