Rotary Club brings the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Bay St. Louis and Waveland | Events
The Imagination Library Project was started by entertainer Dolly Parton to help children in her home town of Sevier County, Tenn. Parton, who was raised in a home without books by adults who were unable to read, believed that all children should have the advantage of having children's books.
This exciting program is now available in Bay St. Louis and Waveland through the Bay St. Louis Rotary Club and its partners, the Hancock County Library System, the Library Foundation of Hancock County, and the United Way of South Mississippi.
“Parents of all children, born after January 1, 2013, in our Imagination Library communities of Bay St. Louis and Waveland are offered the chance to enroll their child in the program free of charge,” said Darlene Underwood of the Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis. “Each child who is enrolled will begin to receive one book a month until their 5th birthday for a total of 60 books. The books are sent at absolutely no cost to the parent or child.”
Underwood said that the books are selected by Dolly Parton and a team of education experts. Each year the team meets to consider which books might add to the program. Each book is age-appropriate and chosen for its attractiveness and value to the child. Many childhood classics such as the Little Engine that Could, which is the first book that the child receives, are included in the collection.
To enroll an eligible child in the program free-of-charge, a parent only needs to complete an enrollment form and send it to the Imagination Library Fund, the Library Foundation of Hancock County, 312 Highway 90, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520. Enrollment brochures with enrollment forms are located in many area doctors' offices, health departments and in area businesses. Hancock Medical Center includes enrollment brochures in their new parents information packets. Brochures are also available at all Hancock County Library locations.
Rotary Club of Bay St. Louis
P.O. Box 2523
Bay St. Louis, MS 39521
“In communities where the Imagination Library is already active, studies show that children enrolled in the program are better prepared to learn when they reach kindergarten,” said Courtney Thomas, Interim Director, Hancock County Library System.
According to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, parents and family members who have a child in the program read, on average 75 percent, more to their children than they would have, had a new book not come to their child monthly.
“Having all children come to school with a background that includes books will allow all students to receive a better education,” said Aletha Burge, Director of Community Initiatives at United Way of South Mississippi. “Additionally, many parents with limited reading skills have seen improvements in their own reading abilities and interest in reading with new and fresh books coming into their homes. The program works.”
For more information, call (228) 896-2213 Ext. 24 or go online to www.rotarybaystlouis.com.
Information source: Bay St. Louis Rotary Club.