The 12 Months of Chugach Giving campaign is in the home stretch with Best Beginnings Alaska (BBA) being selected as our September winner and the nineth recipient of a $1,000 Chugach donation. The BBA submission was made by Josie Hickel, President of Chugach Alaska Corporation. “Best Beginnings provides programs across Alaska that support parents and families in engaging in their children's learning and educational success from an early age,” Hickel expressed. “And I have been a donor and personal supporter of BBA for many years.”

Since 2006, BBA has invested funds, resources, time, and energy in growing readers, building strong families and – like Chugach’s Building Community – has engaged community to the betterment of all those they serve. To this end, BBA has endeavored to ensure that all Alaskans know that early learning and literacy are important to society and that Alaskans understand that investments in early learning pay big dividends to the state as a whole. Moreover, BBA endeavors to ensure that sufficient funds are available – from public and private sources – for every Alaska child to have the opportunity to begin school ready to succeed.

One of BBA’s programs, in particular, has drawn Josie Hickel to support this non-profit’s mission: the Imagination Library. “Dolly Parton started Imagination Library in 1996, and this program mails books to children five and under each month at no cost. This is a truly amazing resource.” Hickel went on to encourage parents to take advantage of what this program has to offer. “Reading is so important for children and fostering a love of reading at an early age helps improve literacy. If you have young kids at home, go sign up for the Imagination Library!”

Hickel also noted one of the key challenges that many Alaskans face and how the BBA overcomes this obstacle. “Not all families have access to the same resources to help their children. That’s where the BBA steps in and provides important resources to kids, parents and educators to assure all children have access to reading resources.”

To learn more about the BBA and its early childhood investment, go to Donations to BBA can be made here. Thank you to Josie Hickel for submitting this incredible non-profit for consideration in Chugach 12 Months of Giving Campaign, and thank you to all of our employees for participating in this yearlong Community Building effort.

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