Quote: Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. - Emilie Buchwald

“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.”

Mem Fox, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever


About Us

The Carol Pufahl Literacy Foundation (CPLF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing early childhood literacy. Our efforts are focused on creating a comprehensive, high-quality early learning network that equips and challenges partners to support children in learning to read, enabling them to read to learn. Our services are provided to children, families and communities in order to give every child a strong start when entering Kindergarten.

All across New York State, children from low-income communities enter kindergarten without the basic early literacy skills for lifelong success; children who enter school behind their more affluent peers and are unable to catch up. Yet, that can be prevented before a child even reaches kindergarten. CPLF works to prepare children from birth through age five for Kindergarten through improved exposure to developmentally appropriate, literacy-rich environments.

Mother reading to her triplets through ASL

Early literacy plays a key role in enabling the kind of early learning experiences that research shows are linked with academic achievement, reduced grade retention, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life. We are committed to improving lives through literacy by ensuring that young children have strong learning experiences from birth through age five, rich in literacy and language acquisition at home, in preschool settings and in the community. We strive to provide the necessary tools to inspire a love of reading for children who are at a high-risk of growing up with low literacy skills. This is how we help:

Put A Book Into Every Child’s Hands

  • Provide access to high quality books at home through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
  • Engage parents in reading to their children though guided interactive literacy activities between parents, caregivers, and children.
  • Provide training to parents, teachers, paraprofessionals on research-based strategies targeted to improvement in oral vocabulary development.
  • Foster collaborations to support children’s interest, engagement and quality use of literacy resources.
  • Increased access to literacy resources for community organizations including early childhood centers, homeless shelters, group homes, safe houses and transitional housing.

Family enjoying reading together

Family Literacy Workshops

Mailing books to children is only one component of our program. Registered families are invited to attend workshops conducted by literacy professionals on a method of interactive reading that promotes dialogue and imagination to build a child’s vocabulary. This will have a lasting impact on the child’s reading ability and future success in school.

Books From Birth

In order to accomplish our goals, we have chosen to collaborate with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Books from Birth Project:

  • The Imagination Library is a home library created to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families.
  • Every child who is registered in the program receives one hardcover age-appropriate book per month until age 5 mailed directly to the home.
  • DPIL manages the composition of the library and coordinates the ordering and mailing of the books to maximize cost effectiveness.
  • A panel of expert educators selects the books for the library each year.