Grants In Action
Grants in Action recognizes the results of notable grant awards, whether large or small, and the significant impact they have on strengthening Greater Dayton and beyond.
The Storybook Project Brings Separated Families a Little Closer
Nurturing relationships between children and their incarcerated parents is essential to their long-term well-being. This can prove difficult, however, as the parents’ absence from their children’s day-to-day life, and restricted visitation and phone privileges can make regular communication a challenge.
To lessen the effects of this separation, the Epiphany Lutheran Church created The Storybook Project in 2001. Volunteers visit local prisons each month to facilitate the recording of books onto CDs for inmates’ children and other family members. The CDs and books are then mailed to their children, helping to strengthen the bond between parent and child. To date, The Storybook Project has sent approximately 13,000 books and recordings to families.
“Each inmate carefully chooses a book, writes a loving message inside and records the book with love in his or her voice,” said Laurie Franz, The Storybook Project coordinator. “Every time the child hears the parent's loving voice, he or she is reminded that the incarcerated parent is making a sincere effort to stay in touch.”
To help reach more families, The Storybook Project has expanded its services to include six prison facilities. The Dayton Foundation supported the expansion with a $3,000 Greenlight Grant℠ in 2017.
“We are well on our way to serving many more parents in prison because of The Dayton Foundation’s Greenlight Grant,” Laurie Franz said. “When inmates are released back into our communities, they most often go back to the families who are the recipients of these books and who will be their support systems. Staying close to loved ones while in prison is difficult, but we hope that The Storybook Project is making it a little easier for these families.” ❧
To support The Storybook Project, go to www.epiphanydayton.org/storybook-project/.
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