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 imaginationli­ 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.

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