Reading was difficult for me as a child, I was dyslexic and found no pleasure in books although my house was always filled with them. Over the years I developed coping strategies that helped me get through university and now I love reading. It is one of my major passions now.
Earlier this year I read a book called “Dream More” by the fabulous, funny and inspiring Dolly Parton. In this book Dolly discusses her organization, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the motivation behind what they do.
“In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.”
“Dolly’s Imagination Library became so popular that in the year 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to over 60,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to over 750,000 children each and every month. Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.”
Like Dolly, my parents always read to me and my sister when we were little. I cannot imagine a child without that same opportunity or the treasured memories of reading gems like “My Name Is Mudpie” or “Go, Dog. Go!” (my absolute favorite books growing up).
What were your favorite books growing up?
To pass the joy of reading on to children you can make a $20 donation here; you can replicate Dolly’s Imagination Library in your own community; or direct the parent of a child you think should be a part of this organization here (you must be the parent or legal guardian of a child to register that child).
(Information taken from: http://imaginationlibrary.com/ and
Parton, Dolly. Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.)