Parton’s ‘Imagination Library’ launched in Susquehanna County

dp_imaginationlibraryDolly Parton wants to give every child the magical window to imagination that books can provide. For that purpose, she founded the Imagination Library project, with a free monthly book delivered to any child from newborn to age five, regardless of income.
“It sounds almost too simple to be true, but by reading regularly with your children during their preschool years, you are giving them the biggest boost toward a successful education they will ever get,” says a press release for the national program.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an early literacy initiative, and the program, launched by United Way of Susquehanna County in April, has already distributed books to more than 100 children.
Although the fundraising program has not been formally launched, books have been distributed to families who receive services through Maternal and Family Health Services, which provides home nurse visits to new moms.
The personal child libraries are funded through donations, and from a grant received by United Way.
“Our whole initiative is around helping children do well,” said Kim Merithew, director of corporation and community giving at United Way. “According to statistics, the average child has 13 books in his or her home library, but a child living in poverty has only one book per every 300 families.”
Many children arrive at a kindergarten classroom without the basic tools to prepare them, Merithew said. “Children from impoverished situations have a 30 million word deficit compared to an average American child.”
There are currently 2,500 children residing in Susquehanna County aged birth to 5 years. You can sponsor a child for $25 a year ($2.08 per child / per month which totals $25 per child for 12 books a year).
The program reports that nearly 75% of parents involved in the Imagination Library project read more to their children than before.
This percentage goes up when looking at poverty or low income households. These books become the main source of books in the house for more than a third of participating families. In addition, more than 70 percent of parents report increased interest by their child in reading.
Funding for the program is available through United Way’s “Helping Children Do Well” program, because the Imagination Library was deemed to qualify under four initiatives: academic readiness, childhood wellness, family stability, and mentorship, Merithew said.
She said that she and another United Way director, Robin Cobb, work closely together to distribute the libraries.
Families can enroll children in the program by contacting the United Way office at 570-465-3868 or, or by completing a registration form available at the Susquehanna County Library system locations, or on our website,

Be the first to comment on "Parton’s ‘Imagination Library’ launched in Susquehanna County"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.