Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Awesome Literacy Program: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Hi again!

I wanted to take a quick second to tell you all about an awesome program that any mother will love.  It is called   Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and it is a literacy program that will provide your child with one book per month from birth to age five.  There are no income limits so no child is automatically excluded.  So far this program is available in the US, Canada, and the UK.  You can go to Dolly's website through the link I provided to see if your community participates or see how to get it started in your community.  It is such an amazing program!  I'm so excited to receive a new book in the mail once a month.  I know Brennan will be excited, too, once he gets a little older. Here's what the website has to say about Dolly's program.
"In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

So she decided to mail a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child under 5 in Sevier County. With the arrival of every child’s first book, the classic The Little Engine That Could ™, every child could now experience the joy of finding their very own book in their mail box. These moments continue each month until the child turns 5—and in their very last month in the program they receive Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come.

Needless to say the experience has been a smashing success. So much so that many other communities clamored to provide the Imagination Library to their children. Dolly thought long and hard about it and decided her Foundation should develop a way for other communities to participate. The Foundation asked a blue ribbon panel of experts to select just the right books and secured Penguin Group USA to be the exclusive publisher for the Imagination Library. Moreover a database was built to keep track of the information.

Consequently, in March of 2000 she stood at the podium of The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and revealed the plan for other communities to provide the Imagination Library to their children. And as only Dolly can say it, she wanted to “put her money where her mouth is – and with such a big mouth that’s a pretty large sum of money” and provide the books herself to the children of Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – communities where her businesses now operate. If other leaders in their communities were willing to do the same, well something big might just happen.

You know what? It did!!

Here’s how it works:

A community must make the program accessible to all preschool children in their area. The community pays for the books and mailing, promotes the program, registers the children, and enters the information into the database.
From there The Dollywood Foundation takes over and manages the system to deliver the books to the home. You can find out more of the operational details on other pages in this website – so what are you waiting for! Hundreds of communities are providing books to hundreds of thousands of children."
 Make sure you check it out, today!  I hope you enjoy this little tip, and this fantastic program!
Brennan and Mama reading an Imagination Library story.

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