Katie Anderson, Oregon State Library Youth Services Consultant was in Pendleton on Thursday, June 10, 2010 to present the Umatilla County Special Library District with one of four statewide Outstanding Ready-To-Read project awards for their 08-09 pre-school learning program called Take Off!

Take Off! is a ten year running Library District program providing pre-school literacy services to child care sites across Umatilla County.

Services include rotating book box collections, educational materials (puppets & storytelling kits), free books, story time programs, provider/caregiver trainings and parent presentations.

In 08-09 Take Off! served 1,136 pre-schooler children at 43 child care sites, mentored 487 caregivers/parents, distributed 1,534 free books to pre-school children and presented 50 story times.

The Take Off! program has prospered due to quality services and broad community support. About half of the $60-70,000 annual budget comes from the Library District and the Oregon State Library. The other half has come through local and regional support most recently including grants from the Umatilla County Commission on Children and Familes, Wildhorse Foundation, Trust Management Services, Pacific Power Foundation and Collins Foundation.

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