Young Drake Boutwell, shown in the photo picking up his latest book at the post office, is excited about receiving his book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which distributes about 327 books each month to children under the age of 5 in Perry County. Our county’s program is currently in its fourteen year thanks to the continuing support of many generous donors. The Imagination Library helps children develop a love of books and reading, an important part of early literacy for the preschool children in Perry County.
Last week, a young mother and her two young children, a toddler and a small baby, came to the Library so the mother could get a new library card. While speaking to the librarian, she said it was her oldest child's birthday. She said she asked what he wanted to do, and he said he wanted to go to the library. She asked if he knew what was at the library and he said, "Books!" She said he just turned 3. Our response, "Wow. He must like to read. Do your children receive books from the Imagination Library?" She said no, could they do that here. Both children were signed up to receive the free Imagination Library books. This is what the Imagination Library is all about. And now we have two new children signed up who will receive their books each month.
Extensive research shows that reading aloud to young children derives the following benefits:
- Improves speech and cognitive skills
- Builds motivation, curiosity, and memory
- Helps develop a love of learning
- Develops a positive association with books
- Early vocabulary has been linked to later reading comprehension skills
- Strengthens the bond between parent and child
- Promotes children’s understanding of the worldb
- Enhances children’s social skills
- Provides coping strategies during times of stress/tragedy
- Offers children an opportunity to practice listening
- Enhances concentration, attention span, and discipline, strengths which serve preschoolers well for entering K-12
The costs of purchasing and delivering twelve books is $24.00 per child per year. This cost is split evenly between Friends of the Library of Perry County and the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation.
Every child in Perry County under the age of 5 is eligible to receive these books. A new age-appropriate book is mailed to each child every month until he/she turns 5 years old. Children receive the books at NO COST to their parents. To register your children or grandchildren, phone or come into either public library in Perry County, Linden or Lobelville.
This program has been available in our county for fourteen years now, yes. Begun in Sevierville by Dolly Parton, to help her community, it has since grown worldwide. But your help is needed to keep it alive for future generations of Perry Countians. Just think, children who started the program in 2004 are in high school now.
If you want to be a part of this important literacy program, just send a donation of any amount to:
Friends of the Library for Imagination Library
Attn: Betty Barber
104 College Avenue
Linden TN 37096
Please consider supporting the Imagination Library in Perry County with your contribution to the future of Perry County children.