Leah B. Johnson
Doniphan County Economic Development Director
Dolly Parton Imagination Library Affiliate #2860: KSDoniphan
Doniphan County brings Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program to local children ages 0-5!
Now, ALL children living in Doniphan County, KS are eligible to receive a FREE book every month from birth until their fifth birthday through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program.
TROY, KANSAS: The Doniphan County Economic Development, in partnership with the Doniphan County Library District #1 and the Doniphan County Parents as Teachers, is excited to announce that the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program is now available and free to all children ages 0-5 who live in Doniphan County, KS!
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the foremost early childhood book-gifting program in the world since launching in 1995. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has gifted well over 176 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.9 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to enrolled children from birth to age five. Parents interested in signing up their child or learning more about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library should visit www.imaginationlibrary.com.
Leah B. Johnson, Doniphan Economic Development Director thought our county would be a perfect fit for the program when last fall the State of Kansas Children’s Cabinet announced their partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to create a statewide expansion of the book gifting program. Counties and community partners in the first year would receive start-up funding. “I had heard of the program before and the wonderful benefits it offers, but the Kansas Children’s Cabinet’s initial partnership made it accessible for rural areas to start locally,” said Johnson.
Dolly Parton envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics.
Dana Clary, Doniphan County Parents As Teacher Supervisor and Parent Educator said, “Putting books in the hands of young children, is the best jump start in education we can provide for children in our community. Working with Parents As Teachers for the past thirteen years has gifted me the opportunity to attend many hours of training, as well as see firsthand, in multiple families’ homes, the impact reading to a child can have. Having access to books promotes social emotional connections with a caregiver, increases language, provides the foundation for reading, and opens an overall interest and engagement in learning. What amazing things a small gift of a book can offer. We all can be a part to help provide opportunities to strengthen the connections in a child’s brain that are critical for early literacy and language in this simple way of partnering with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to put books in the hands of children in Doniphan County.”
In order to ensure the longevity of this program, financial support from community and organizational donations is necessary. Therefore, a fund in the Doniphan County Community Foundation has been established so anyone can donate. Those looking to financially support this program can send a check to the Doniphan County Community Foundation at PO Box 11, Troy, KS 66087. Make sure to write Dolly Parton Imagination Library Doniphan County on the memo line so that it will be credited to the program accordingly. Or, donate online here.
Any child or parent who attends or participates in the Doniphan County Library District #1 summer reading program is June 6 – July 22, can talk with Library staff if they have questions about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program and sign up on library computers as needed.
“The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program is just one exciting step to improve the standard of living in Doniphan County. It’s programs like this, that reach our youngest of citizens and our next generation of workforce, that will make a positive impact on their future and in turn, the future of our county,” said Johnson.
Parents interested in signing up their child or learning more about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library should visit www.imaginationlibrary.com.