ABC Project revived with support from the community, faculty
Dedicated efforts by Teacher Education faculty member Dr. Susan Neufeld and support from the community have helped bring the Abundant Books for Children (ABC) program back to life.

Started in 2002 by former Teacher Education faculty member Janet Towell and graduate student Karen Barham, the ABC Project has worked to bring books to the children of Turlock. When Towell left for a position in Florida, Neufeld stepped in as Project Director. Although the program was temporarily closed due to the loss of major financial support, Neufeld said it had always been the plan to return to providing books to preschool children in Turlock.

The ABC Project, in conjunction with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, distributes books to children from birth to age five for $30 a year — 12, age-appropriate, hardback books mailed to their homes — helping to facilitate those early literacy skills needed for school success. The Imagination Library is at more than 650 sites across the country, and is statewide in Tennessee, where all children have access to the program and where it is supported in part with state funds.

After attending a national conference in Tennessee for Imagination Library sites, Neufeld and Barham, Project Coordinator, joined with Turlock Mayor John Lazar and other supporters to organize a fundraising reception for the ABC Project in October. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell was the guest of honor. The event was well received and generated financial support from new community members. CSU Stanislaus leaders and faculty were well represented at the event attended by a number of area education leaders.

Neufeld said the ABC Project is updating its database and plans to have the first books delivered in January to children who were previously enrolled and still eligible, and children who had been waitlisted. New brochures will be distributed to register additional children in Turlock. Enough funding has been collected to support 450 children for two years and the program will continue to seek out grant monies, individual contributions, and long-term supporters to serve more children.

For more information about the program and how to offer support, contact Neufeld at 664-6719 or the ABC Project office at 579-3004. 
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