It has been seven months since our Library Foundation launched Cedar Rapids’ Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. In that time, more than 3,800 children have enrolled in this early literacy program and 170 children have received the graduation book for their 5th birthday.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an early literacy program providing free, age-appropriate books once a month to Cedar Rapids children ages 0 to 5. The goal is to help put books into children’s homes to help prepare them for their kindergarten classroom. The Dollywood Foundation orders the books and takes care of the shipping while our Library Foundation pays for the books plus postage.
“It costs about $25 per child per year,” shared Library Foundation Executive Director Charity Tyler. “We’ve mailed 15,400 books to children in Cedar Rapids since March and want to do more.”
There are more than 9,000 children between the ages of 0 and 5 living in Cedar Rapids. All of these children are eligible for the Imagination Library program, and it will take more effort to increase program enrollment.
“A pivotal key to enrolling children has been our partnership with area nonprofit organizations and healthcare providers,” said Library Programming Manager Kevin Delecki. “We are extremely grateful for their enthusiasm around the program.”
As the year comes to an end, there are plans to increase awareness as well as enrollment. Events and outreach opportunities within the community will help spread the word. The next step will be to continue reaching out to other care providers, schools, and community organizations to assist in the effort.
For information on how you can support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, click here.