What is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is all about inspiration and imagination. In 1995 Dolly developed the program so that every preschool child in her home of Sevier County, Tennessee, would have their own library of books that would encourage in them a love of reading and learning. The program was so successful and generated such interest from across the country that, after much thought, Dolly decided to offer her Imagination Library for replication in any community that will support it.
Currently there are 401 families signed up for the program in Freeborn County, with the help of United Way foundation dollars, grants and individual financial support. There are 80 children on a waiting list. Any support from the community is appreciated so we are able to reach more children.
Though books are free of charge, there is an annual cost of $30 for Shipping and Handling costs. Community support is essential for the program to be operational.
To learn more, visit the DPIL web site: http://www.imaginationlibrary.com/
Each month, from the day the child is born until his/her 5th birthday, a carefully selected book arrives in the mail. Kids across the country have shared the excitement of running to the mailbox to retrieve their book.
Each book is selected by a committee composed of parents, teachers, child development specialists, librarians, publishers, and others specializing in early childhood literacy. Special attention is given to age-appropriateness and the development of such positive themes as promotion of self-esteem and confidence, regard for diversity and appreciation of art.
Why Begin So Early?
Learning to read is a process much like learning to speak or learning to walk. The process begins at birth. Children associate sounds with emotions. They must learn how a book works—you read left to right and you turn pages. They associate pictures with words. These are all steps along the way to learning to read.
There is ample research to support early literacy, yet common sense tells us most of what we need to know. The key to success in school and beyond is developing proficient reading skills. One of the most important things a parent can do to develop these skills is to read with their child as much as possible.
By reading regularly with our children, we can give them the biggest boost toward a successful education they will ever get, making a huge difference in their future and the future of our communities.
How Do I Get Signed Up?
The DPIL program officially kicked off in Freeborn County the summer of 2013. Registration forms are available through the Healthy Families program and the United Way office.
*Since funding is limited preference is given to newborns in Freeborn County.
United Way of Freeborn County is the fiscal agent and Healthy Families will administer the program. Please contact Natalie Loock, Healthy Families Coordinator for more information or to sign your child up for the program- 507-377-5100. DPBrochure (2)