Hancock County children are eligible for one free book a month through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote childhood reading.
“There are many reasons parents do not read to their children, but we can eliminate one of those reasons: a lack of books within the home,” the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library representatives, whom are responsible for the program in Hancock County, said in a statement.
Under the program, children living in Hancock County, ages 5 and under, no matter their family’s income status, get a free, high-quality book delivered straight to their home. Every child in the family is eligible for a free book monthly.
The books mailed are sent with the child in mind. Each book mailed is selected by a panel of blue-ribbon educators to be age appropriate and educational for the child reading.
The program started in Hancock County through Hancock Literacy in 2014, which has since dissolved. In 2022, the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library took over responsibility for the program.
“The library is grateful to the dedicated individuals from Hancock Literacy who supported The Imagination Library in our community through its first seven years,” Library Director Sarah Clevidence told WFIN in January of 2022. “We look forward to continuing their work to grow enrollment and support in our community.”
Since the program was started in November of 2014, over 134,000 books have been sent to children in Hancock County, with 2,3000 children receiving books monthly.
Donations to the program can be made at the Circulation Desk at the Main Library, at the Arlington Branch of the Findlay-Hancock County Library, the Bookmobile or by mail. For $25, you can sponsor one child for a year, which totals in 12 total new books. For $125, you can sponsor one child for the full five years that they are eligible, totaling in 60 new books for the child.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has been gifting free new books to children since 1995 in participating communities across the Unites States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland, with a goal of inspiring a love of reading in the children of these communities.
Dolly was not only inspired by her father’s illiteracy when creating the Imagination Library, but also the desire to help children achieve their dreams.
“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer,” Parton said in a statement. “The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”
Currently, there are 2,610,371 children registered in the program worldwide, with over 200 million books gifted to children ages 5 and under every single month.
If you have any questions about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library or want to donate to the program, call the Findlay-Hancock County Library at 419-422-1712. To register your child for monthly free books, visit https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/?fbclid=IwAR2M9U-Bn2_xI-Y47VyQsYwMsl5jJxMGFmZvPmkIFxvLi1QUZb1RbbJtDnw.