County celebrates Imaginational Library 10th anniversary
Over 10 years ago the Dolly Parton Imagination Project was kicked off in Kemper County. Since that time over 30,000 books have been delivered to over 950 children aged birth to 5 years free of charge and over 750 children have graduated from the program and entered school.
To celebrate this milestone, the week of November 15th was designated Imagination Library Week and volunteers from the Kemper County Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers (Cordelia Hoppes, Iris Roberts, Mary Scott, Rose McGraw) and United Way of East Mississippi (Derron Radcliff and Loretta Hulin( read books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Books offerings to over 150 pre-kindergarten children at 3 pre-Kindergarten locations and by ZOOM. Afterwards the children at the pre-kindergarten locations provided a cake with the Dolly Parton Imagination Logo on it for a treat.
The Kemper County program is sponsored by the United Way of East Mississippi in partnership with Partners for Kemper County Foundation along with donations from the Kemper County community at large. Each month children in Kemper County from birth to five years of age who are enrolled receive a book free of charge sent to them directly to their mail box in their name. The first book provided is The Little Engine That Could and afterward books sent are age specific.
Research by Early Childhood Development Specialists affirm that children who are actively engaged in reading by their parents prior to beginning kindergarten score higher than their co-harts on the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Tool who do not have access to age-appropriate books and are not engaged in reading exercises by the parents at a minimum of 20 minutes daily. A survey done of pre-kindergarten assessment scores in Kemper County supported this research.
Parents/guardians of children from birth to 5 years of age may enroll their children on the website imaginationlibrary.com and click on the enrollment tab or obtain an enrollment card from several participating locations (DeKalb Public Library, Kemper Academy, Small World, Friends of Children, Kiddie Kollege, Kemper County Lower Elementary School) or contact Loretta Hulin for additional information on 601-416-8279.