Give the gift of reading!
A $30 gift sends a book each month to a child less fortunate.
Local donations support our program. Help us continue this amazing program.

Thank you
Donors & Sponsors!

Kim & Andrew Evans

Laura Schneller

Candy Kopperud

Jeannie Snodgrass

Kit Erickson
Marian Charles
Paula Davies
Katie Clark
Linda Conover
Donald and Diana Reinart

Bstt Beginnings


Susitna Rotary

Meadow Lakes Community Council

Marie Conover
Alaska Wild Child

Lucy Hope

Sharon Schaefer, MD MSRMC

Erika Stannard with
Ptarmigan Pediatrics


Willow Library Assn.

Willow Area Seniors

Newman's Hilltop Service


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is in Mat-Su!
     ... join Best Beginnings and local sponsors - give the gift of reading.

It sounds almost too simple to be true, but by reading regularly with your children during their early years – from birth! – you are giving them the biggest boost toward success they will receive.

Mat-Su Imagination Library will send an age appropriate books to your mailing address every month, until your child turns 5 years old. Local donations provide the funding for books and shipping.

Emilie Buchwald said, “Children become readers on the laps of their parents." So true!

Sign up now! If your child is…
   • age birth to 5 years old
   • a current resident of the Mat-Su Borough.

Research all over the country shows positive results in terms of Imagination Library improving readiness for school.

Enroll now: Click here for enrollment form.

Change of Address:
For a change of address: You MUST first complete a "Change of Address" form at the post office, then email your address change to: Books are ordered from the publisher on the first of each month for mailing the following month. So you may miss a book due to the address change.

Donate now:
Local donations support our program. Help us continue this amazing program. $30 provides books for one child for a year (12 books). $150 for 5 years (birth to age 5). Click the button below to donate. 100% of your donation will go towards our program and the purchase of books.



Check out the Best Beginnings Pinterest Board!
Promoting early learning through resources and activities you can use at home,
featuring books from the Imagination Library.
The number of activities will blow your mind!

Help your child get ready to read and ready for kindergarten.

During the first three years of a child’s life, the brain develops at an extremely fast rate. This is when children are more receptive to gaining language and literacy skills. It is critical that during this time we promote early literacy. There are five early literacy practices that every child needs to get ready for kindergarten: Read, Sing, Play, Talk and Write. Download examples of things you can do to help your child.

5 skills

Read to your babyOutside readingReading is fun!Bedtime

Traveling Safe with Children

It’s that wonderful time of the year when many families are traveling - and many parents are wondering how they can ensure their children’s health, safety and overall well-being on their trips. Explore our travel links.

Grandma knows best.
Reading to the dog!

child with books

Your Child's Development:
Age-Based Tips From Birth to 36 Months

    This set of nine, age-based handouts includes:

  • A chart that helps you know what to expect developmentally from your child and how you can help your child learn at each stage
  • Frequently asked questions and answers
  • A spotlight section that goes into greater depth on a common issue or challenge for each age
  • A research summary specific to each stage of development, and what it means for parents

Birth to 3 Months: Your Baby’s Development

3 to 6 Months: Your Baby’s Development

6 to 9 Months: Your Baby’s Development


Words Count The more words children are exposed to in their first few years, the better they fare in school and in life. Right from birth, babies both initiate communication with their parents and respond – through crying, facial expressions, and arm waving, to name a few. Two-way interaction, what neuroscientists call “serve-and-return,” is critical to building neural connections in the baby brain. Talk, sing, read, and play with your child every day!

There’s more the Mat-Su Imagination Library does…
Mat-Su community volunteers organize enrollment events, family fun sessions, coordinate with local agencies, and raise funds to sponsor Mat-Su children in the program. Plus, maintain a current email address with us and receive free activity sheets and reading tips for your Imagination Library books.

Mat-Su families love Imagination Library ...

I would like to say thank you. My son has been receiving books for some time now. He is 4 and these books have truly made him excited about reading. He loves getting a new book and has me read them so many times, he memorizes them and "reads" them back to me word for word.

I am truly grateful. ~ Tina


(Athan turned 5 years old and graduated from the program.)
My son Athan was a little bummed to learn that he no longer gets books in the mail the other day. The good news is, he got to check his first book out at the school library, so that’s opening a whole new world to him. We have so loved being part of the Imagination Library - thank you for all the good work you do. It’s certainly expanded our horizons in terms of offering books that I might not generally pick for our crew of boys to read. “Tea Party Rules” was one of those - it was quite the hit and we read it over and over for a few weeks.

Thank you, and thanks for all you do! ~ Rindi


I LOVED the previous workshop!!! It was FANTASTIC!!!
Thank you, Linda! Your hard work is a tremendous asset to kids in the Valley! Both Ella and Ian (3 1/2 and 23 months) LOVE their books. Ella "reads" to us every day with the books she has memorized. Over in the Meadow and I Am a Rainbow are two current favorites. Going to the mailbox is quite a treat! ~ Laura


"My little guy loves his August gift, A Place called Kindergarten. He goes to kindergarten next year so it really made his day. He even memorized the rainbow song shared in the book!!! Thank you!!" ~ Ashley Kelly
"Thank you so much for coordinating this program. I'm sure you know what a difference this program can make in the lives of children whose parents do not buy them books.  My daughter was so surprised when we read her first book, the little engine.  I enjoyed it too since I had not seen it since I was a child.  She now knows 'I think I can, I think I can' like the little engine that could.  The pictures in the book are great for discussion.  She enjoys 'reading' the book back to me after I've read it to her and I can tell that she paid attention since she can repeat some of the lines verbatim.  Thanks again for participating in this program and for giving kids the gift of reading in the MSB (like I always say, you're never bored if you're a reader)." ~ The Simeroth Family - Elena, Tony, and Skyler Jade


Share a testimonial

"Dream More, Learn More, Care More, Be More." -- Dolly Parton

Best Beginnings AK Dept of Education and Early Development Rasmuson Foundation Rotary