Dolly Parton Imagination Library comes to Fayette County

Submitted by Debbie Bryant and Anne Quinn

United Way of Fayette County and Carnegie Public Library are pleased to announce that the children of Fayette County can now participate in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. All books are free and you can register beginning July 30! The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) was initiated in 1995 and as of 2019 more than 100 million books have been distributed. This literacy program will provide an age appropriate book once a month for all children from birth to a child’s 5th birthday. If a child is registered at birth, by their 5th birthday, the child would own 60 books in his or her personal library.

Research in child development, and the study of thousands of families, affirm the benefits of early learning experiences for children. Research shows that activities such as reading regularly with children, beginning with infancy, can produce a significant increase in I.Q. No system of education alone can ever provide such a dramatic result. Parents are the first and most important teachers their children will ever have. It’s crucial to begin presenting pre-literacy skills at the earliest stages of a child’s life. To better prepare a child for pre-school and kindergarten, the DPIL will provide children an opportunity for greater success. A strong literacy foundation will help all students in school to be competitive and help strengthen the community.

United Way and Carnegie Public Library are celebrating the kickoff of this program at Party-in-the-Park, at Eyman Park on Tuesday, July 30, at 11 a.m. (Rain date is Thursday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m.). There will be stories, games, and Mr. Bug-a-Boo, a balloon artist will be there to create fantastical balloon creatures. There will also be face-painting, crafts and prizes given away. Debbie Bryant and Anne Quinn will be there to register children for DPIL, and answer any questions. Hot dogs, chips and cookies will be served as long as supplies last to families and children 5 and younger.

The Ohio State budget has recently allocated $5 million for the next two years to distribute matching funds to each county participating in the DPIL. We can all thank Governor DeWine and his wife, Fran, who have been supportive advocates for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library because they recognize the importance of pre-literacy skills for Ohio’s children. This will greatly increase our ability to get books to all the children in Fayette County who are age appropriate. We still ask businesses and individuals to continue to donate directly to United Way for this outstanding literacy program. For as little as $25 a year, children will receive twelve books delivered to their home by the Dolly Parton Foundation. Vectron, the Jesse Eyman Fund and the Fayette Charitable Trust Foundation have been our champions to get this program started. We are deeply grateful for their donations. Without their contributions, bringing the program to Fayette County would not have been possible.

Please come to the Party in the Park at Eyman Park to celebrate the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and to register for the program. After July 30, come to the Carnegie Public Library Children’s Department to register for the program. The mission for this program 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.” Come on Fayette County, “Let’s Read to Our Children”!!!

Submitted by Debbie Bryant and Anne Quinn