Now, before you go thinking this is a homage to all things Dolly, it's not. Well, maybe it is a little.
You see, growing up I knew who Dolly was. I lived with my grandmother growing up and she loved country music, so I knew Dolly on a musical level. She's great! To this day one of the few CD's to grace my van is Ultimate Dolly Parton. Jolene is quite possibly one of my all time greatest songs, as is Coat of Many Colors. Although that song is special to me because I had loads of hand sewn clothes growing up and was made fun of more often than not. Don't worry, I'm not that scarred from it..ha!
Anyway, when we bought our house a few years ago one of the first places I took the kids was to the local library. There I was greeted by the wonderful children's librarian who helped me get the kids set up with Mommy and Me reading times, etc. Then she ask a question that was peculiar to me. "Do you live in the "local" school district?" I answered yes and her eyes lit up. You see, about the same time we moved to our town, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library was just getting started.
What is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library? Well, to summerize it, Dolly started a foundation many years ago to make sure every child in her county in Tennessee would have books to help them gain a love of reading and help prepare them for Kindergarten. Wow! That alone goes straight to this bookworm's heart! The best news is that over the years Dolly has extended her Imagination Library to the entire country and several other nations as well. One of my favorite features is that within the age range required, ANY child can receive books. Socioeconomics have nothing to do with a love of reading!
So, what did all of that mean to me? Well, if you live in one of several school districts in our area, your child can receive books from the Imagination Library. From birth until their 5th birthday my kids receive a new book each month. They love it and we have quite a library! I love that the first book each child receives is "The Little Engine That Could". I remember this book from my childhood and love reading it to the kids. They each have their favorite. A loves "Pip and Squeak". Ren adores "The Little Engine That Could" and "Otis". CS loves the "Llama Llama" series of books and even claimed "Llama Llama Misses Mama" from Ren when he got it in the mail.
Yes, I am so happy to be passing on the bookworm gene and to be honest I couldn't have done it without finding Dolly's Imagination Library. The books we have received would have cost a fortune to go and purchase at the store! I'm am so grateful and thankful to Dolly Parton for beginning her foundation and enriching children's lives and love of reading one book at a time!
To see if Dolly's Imagination Library is in your town or area, click here or check your local library. If not, please check out the site anyway and see how you can bring these wonderful books to your town!