October 03, 2018
by: Candis Dart
Young children in Door County will soon start receiving FREE books in the mail. The Door County Partnership for Children and Families, a program of United Way of Door County, is working to bring the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program to local children. Every child that registers for Door County’s program will receive one brand new, age appropriate book per month from birth until their fifth birthday.
“Our mission is school success, and part of that is increasing early childhood literacy in Door County. By working with the Dollywood Foundation, our goal is to give one book per month to every child enrolled in the program, from birth until the month they turn five, ” said Candis Dart, Coordinator for the Door County Partnership for Children and Families.
The experiences of thousands of families, as well as research in child development, affirm the benefits of early learning experiences for ch’p[0p-0-ildren. Research shows that activities such as reading regularly with children, beginning in infancy, can produce a significant growth in I.Q., which lasts a child’s lifetime. Parents are the first and most important teachers their children will ever have. “I hope that every family in Door County will experience the joy and wonder of their children’s imaginations as they learn about the world and it’s many surprises,” Dolly said. “If we can help turn the dreams of a child into the promise of a bright future, then one of my biggest dreams will come true.”
The Dollywood Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit foundation founded in 1988 by Dolly Parton to support educational projects and improve the quality of life in Dolly’s native Sevier County, Tennessee. The mission of the foundation is to share the life and legacy of Dolly Parton as an inspiration for children to “Dream More…Learn More…Care More…and Be More.”
The Imagination Library is a 60-volume home library for young children. It was created to stimulate children’s imaginations and encourage reading within the family at an early age. A panel of child educators selects the books for the library each year, always beginning the series with a special copy of The Little Engine That Could.
In December of 1999, Dolly announced that she would extend the opportunity to communities to replicate The Imagination Library in their own area. While each community must financially support its own effort, the foundation provides technical assistance in setting up the program, assists with public relations and marketing materials, works with Dolly on national/international promotional efforts, and convenes the growing network to inspire, share, and innovate. The foundation also manages the composition of the library and coordinates the ordering and mailing of the books to maximize cost effectiveness. Since the inception of the program, The Dollywood Foundation has mailed over 100 million books.
“By working with the Dollywood Foundation, the Door County Partnership for Children and Families can implement this program for only $25 per child enrolled per year,” said Candis Dart. “That’s only $2.10 per month to purchase and mail books directly to the child’s home.” The cost for this program will be covered by the Door County Partnership for Children and Families and Community fundraising efforts. There will be absolutely no cost to families.
The Door County Partnership for Children and Families is currently raising funds for this program. Online registration for Door County families will officially begin on January 1st, 2019. Families may also register in person at kick-off events planned for later this Fall.
Anyone interested in receiving more information or making a donation to the program is encouraged to contact Candis Dart, Coordinator for the Door County Partnership for Children and Families at firstname.lastname@example.org or (920)421-3144.
JOIN US AND PRE-REGISTER AT THE KICK-OFF EVENT DECEMBER 15, 2018
ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW AVAILABLE