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Read Aloud Lincoln Initiative Transitions to Lincoln City Libraries

Part meeting, part celebration – the supporters of Read Aloud Lincoln were all smiles as they gathered in early September for an exciting announcement. After nearly 18 months of successful programming formed around the Prosper Lincoln focus on early childhood, the platform will continue to create a culture of reading aloud across the city. The work will now transition to a new part-time position housed within Lincoln City Libraries. 

Read Aloud Lincoln includes a dedicated group of partners who want to spread the word to parents and caregivers that 15 minutes of reading aloud daily from birth to age 8 can profoundly impact success for all Lincoln’s children, both in school and in life. Their primary goal is to have every child ready to read when entering kindergarten and continue to build their literacy skills during their early school years. This can happen when parents read aloud 15 minutes a day, every day. It is the single most important thing they can do to prepare their child for reading and learning. 

The original Co-Directors of Read Aloud Lincoln, Nancy Larimer & Mary Reiman, are thrilled to know that the work they started will deepen and continue to develop in the new Early Childhood Advocate role within Lincoln City Libraries. Events surrounding the initiative have kept them both extremely busy. “We popped up everywhere,” said Larimer. 

Within the past two years, more than 35,800 books were placed into the hands of children all over the city. Reiman said, “What we really saw was the generosity of Lincoln.” Beyond distributing books, Read Aloud Lincoln focused on connecting people and building relationships within the community. 

The first two years of Read Aloud programming were made possible through a grant received from the Institute of Museums and Library Services and the Lincoln Community Foundation in support of the Prosper Lincoln community agenda of access to quality early childhood development. Now with the platform transitioning to the Lincoln City Libraries, the goals of the program have not changed, and its early champions are happy to see the initiative thrive in a new home. “We are so very fortunate to live in a city which highly supports early childhood literacy,” said Reiman. 

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI