Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a book gifting program that allows children from the time of birth until the age of five to receive free high-quality books each month. This was inspired by Dolly Parton's commitment to literacy, this project seeks to create a positive impact on young children and set the foundation for a lifelong love of reading and learning.
"The imagination library has been around for many years and started in her hometown of Tennessee with the idea and hope of getting books in the hands of kids" said Christine Golden, Director of Jasper Public Library. "Over the years the program has expanded and became a national program allowing more organizations too join. Essentially a child could have up to 60 books by the age of just five" Golden added.
The program does require funding that is shared by both the state and local community partners. Dubois County Community Foundation has committed to three years of grant support to help launch the program.
"We are so thrilled with the opportunity to partner with the Community Foundation to bring the library to Dubois county" said Golden. She also added that this has been a long process and the initial thought and this program came many years ago. "We want children to be able to have fun while also developing a love to read" added Golden.
Parents or guardians may register their child online by completing a brief form at www.imaginationlibrary.com or by stopping in any of the five county libraries for some assistance. There is zero charge to register or receive the books, regardless of the families income. Children who register will receive a new book every month until the child's fifth birthday.
"We believe that this program will have a positive influence to many families in our community. Our libraries are very excited and are eagerly anticipating the joy and wonder that will fill the hearts and minds of children as they discover the magic of books" said Golden. "This is a really cool experience because at the library we understand it can be challenging to get your child to the library once a week or month to get a book to start reading, but with the imagination program it can help reach a much wider range of children by sending the book directly to their house for no charge at all" added Golden.
Through many years of research done by the Dollywood Foundation the program shows promise in promoting changes in home literacy enviorments, children's attitude toward reading and early literacy skills.
There will be a fundraiser and a kick-off event held on March 2d from 10:00am - 12:00pm at the Jasper Public Library. "Whenever you have something big and exciting happening you want to celebrate it the right way and celebrate out partnership with the Community Foundation and the legislators who helped make this happen" Golden said. The kick-off event is a complete open house and welcome to anyone interested in coming to join and will have fun activities going on. On top of the fun activities that will be going on the first 100 attendees will receive gift bags.
For additional details on the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library you can contact the Dubois County Public Library at (812)-482-2712 or also online at imaginationlibray.com.