It all begins with a child and a book. When you give a child a book, you open up a world of possibilities. In 1995, Dolly Parton decided she wanted to open those possibilities for the children of Sevier County, Tennessee. She started a program designed to foster a love of reading in preschool children and their families. This program mailed age appropriate books directly to their homes, and ensured that every child would have books, regardless of their families income.
The program became so popular that in 2000, Dolly Parton decided to make the program available for other communities to replicate. The White County Imagination Library began in February 2005, our first order was placed in April for 406 books and those first books shipped in May.
Since then, we have really grown! Our most recent book order covered 1,135 children, which is over seventy percent of our target age group.
In looking up the numbers for this article, I found my handwritten notes from a meeting in 2002 when we were trying to get this project going in White County. I listed several reasons we needed this program. My final reason was our children need this boost badly.
That brings us full circle-it all begins with a child and a book. I hope to see you here as we celebrate children and books on March 29th from 2 pm - 4 pm.