Regan Reif and Julie Smith presented a program on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the Great Bend Rotary club on Oct, 17. This is the 20th year of the program, which mails a free book once a month to children ages 0-5 years of age to help with literacy improvement. The books can also help with the reading improvement of the children’s parents as they read the books to the younger kids. The program has demonstrated significant improvement in the reading ability of kids who participate. The children are signed up for the program through the local library by their parents/caregivers.
The program has provided 74 million books to kids to date, and over 10 million last year alone, and many books are available in both English and Spanish. The local branch of the program is funded through an account with the United Way of Central Kansas, and contributions may be sent to them with a notation for the Imagination Library program.
Funding for the program is being sought from area individuals and sponsors. The Great Bend Rotary club has pledged monetary support for the program for the next five years.
Further information about the Imagination Library is available from the United Way of Central Kansas.