Children must be under the age of 5 years old and live in Greene County, Ohio.
These four words hold a fundamental truth: literacy is the cornerstone of success. In today’s economy, a life without reading is a life without access to the basic tools of prosperity, from books to the Internet. The Greene County Public Library Foundation’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library project gives Greene County’s children between the ages of 0 and 5 the tools they need to be ready to read in Kindergarten by making sure they always have high-quality, age-appropriate, books in their homes.
Developmental studies show that children who are ready to learn to read in Kindergarten have already developed critical pre-literacy skills between the ages of 0 and 3, a time when 90% of their core brain development is taking place.
By the time they enter kindergarten, children will have their own library of books making them prepared to enter school and become readers. In Middletown, OH, Kindergarten readiness scores (KRAL) went up 14% in four years among program participants. These results have led to endorsements of the project from United Way Worldwide and Rotary International.
This is where the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Project comes in. Through partnerships with publishers and the Post Office, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is able to send one book a month — 12 high quality, age appropriate, books per year — for a cost of $25.00 per child. This small investment, less than the cost of a new hardback book, brings a lifetime of priceless success to kids.
This initiative will cost approximately $600,000 for a three year trial period. The Greene County Library Foundation has committed $30,000 to the project, and is now working to find partners to raise funds for this project.