by Bob Kennemer
LA VETA — When one thinks of Dolly Parton, her roots as a country music singer and songwriter probably are the first things to come to mind. Parton is also an acclaimed actress. What may come as news to many is that Parton is a strong advocate for childhood literacy.
Parton’s father was a smart hardworking man, but he never learned to read or write. To honor this man, Parton has dedicated her philanthropy to the Imagination Library. Here is how it works:
• The program starts at birth. When a child is registered between birth to 12 months, that child will receive one book per month at no charge until the age of five. The books are sent by mail to the home or PO Box. One can register at the LVPL or online. Make sure to keep your address current and correct!
The one free book per month program continues in the following increments: year two – 13 months to 24 months, year three – 25 months to 36 months, year four – 37 months to 48 months and year five – 49 months to 60 months.
All children (in the above age groups) residing in Huerfano County are eligible for the program. However, once you and your child move out of Huerfano County, the program ends.
The program is able to send books to children of different ages residing in the same home.
According to LVPL Director Sandy Hackbarth, “The books are carefully selected and are age appropriate. The content also correlates to topics the child will be experiencing at each age level.” Hackbarth went on to say that the program is built around getting parents to read to their children.
“There is tons of evidence showing that having books in the home at an early age translates to a child being able to read at their grade level. Additionally, the evidence reveals that having books in the home and reading at their grade level indicates the child will be successful in life,” added Hackbarth.
The Imagination Library program is also being supported by the Spanish Peaks Library in Walsenburg, as well as by both school districts.