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This story was submitted by Mary Adkins:

As Coordinator of the Talbot County Judy Center, which works with families, community programs and schools to assure children have developed the skills they need to be ready to succeed in school, I was ecstatic when I learned Imagination Library was started in Talbot County.  Not only did I invite the Director of the program to join our partnership, I quickly registered my two-year-old granddaughter for the program.

My granddaughter was so excited to receive her first book, The Little Engine That Could, in the mail.   Although future books began arriving every month, the first book was especially important to her. She made everyone read it over and over again.

About six months went by and one evening I received a frantic call from my son stating that my granddaughter had fallen while playing and it appeared she was going to need stitches in her head. He asked if I would meet them at the ER for support.

A face full of tears greeted me as I entered her room and clutched in her hands was The Little Engine That Could. When I asked what happened, she said, “I broke my head and they have to sew me up.”  Trying to take her mind off what was happening, I asked if she wanted me to read the story.  She said, “No thank you.  I just have to have it to help me think I can, just like the engine. You can if you think you can,” she said bravely.

Although there certainly were more tears, she really had a grasp of how important it is to believe in yourself, and that if you believe, you can conquer your fears and be successful.  I doubt that without hearing this story over and over prior to having to face this challenge she would have been as brave.

That’s what stories have done for thousands of years. They introduce concepts, reinforce ideas, teach ways to deal with issues, give us someone or something to relate to, and they open the door to wonderful new worlds.

Imagination Library of Talbot County makes sure each child receives the same books, assuring all children enter school having been exposed to the same vocabulary and the same stories. The time parents spend reading these stories to their children over and over helps prepare their kids for a successful future.