Program launched to provide all first-graders with books in Maine

Published: Aug. 22, 2019 at 4:09 PM EDT
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"Brianna do you want me to read to you?"

A family in Brewer is trying to make a difference in the state by providing books to all first graders.

"We're only here for some time so if we can find time to give back in whatever way we are able to then that's important and I hope our kids learn that watching us do this as well."

Dan and Karen Cashman have founded Dirigo Reads, a program that will provide books every month to first graders in Maine.

Dirigo Reads will begin in six communities starting in September... These towns include Brewer, Caribou, Castine, Dover-Foxcroft, Machias, and Madison.

"This is a very important time in a child's life where they are learning to read instead of reading to learn and we just want to catch that in that very important spot."

The goal is to have books in the hands of every first-grader in the state by 2025.

"Unfortunately what's not happening is the building of home libraries for kids in certain areas and by offering that opportunity and leveling the playing field for every single first-grader in the state to us it seemed like a no brainer to try and move forward."

"There's something special about having it at home and being able to take it to bed with you and cuddle with it if it is one of your favorite books and then keep going back to with by sharing it with your friends or maybe your younger sibling or older sibling."

The first book that will be handed out is Oliver by Syd Hoff.

They believe by providing children with books every month, it will open doors to a brighter future.

"We understand that this isn't the full solution we just hope to be part of that solution and make a difference in kids lives."

To find out more about this program you can visit