There's Something Magical About Books

There’s just something magical about receiving a book in the mail each month. It’s exciting as an adult, but even more so as a child.  My brother and I used to receive the Little Golden Books when we were young, so when I heard about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, I mentioned it to my daughter to register her little ones to begin receiving them.

How to Sign Up Your Kids for Dolly's Imagination Library

I wasn’t sure how or where to begin. Honestly, I wasn’t even really sure I knew what it was, only that free, age-appropriate books could be delivered through the mail to all children ages 5 and under regardless of income.

On their website:  https://Imaginationlibrary.com families can register their children by filling out a short questionnaire. Currently, the program is available in several tri-state counties including Warrick, Vanderburgh, Gibson, and Posey Counties in Indiana and Daviess, Henderson, Union, Hancock, Ohio, McLean, Hopkins, Webster, and Crittenden Counties in Kentucky.

Dolly Parton doesn’t sponsor these books alone, though.  The program provided over 176,606,329 books worldwide, by relying on local organizations to raise funds that sponsor families within their own hometowns. I was thrilled to find out we have a hometown champion right here in Warrick County and it’ll surprise you to know it all started in the most unusual way!

The History of Imagination Library in Warrick County

In 2016, a group of middle-schoolers from Castle North Middle School in Warrick County met their community service project goal of creating a local Imagination Library organization!  Their generationON Club project became an extension of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, accepting their first registrations in January 2017. The program grew by leaps and bounds, and in 2019, the 501c(3) not-for-profit organization, Warrick Literacy and Educational Connections (WLEC) was formed to take over the increasing demand.

Darlene Short, the program’s director, shared that the program is funded entirely through donations and grants. For every $30 donated, a child age 5 and under registered in Warrick County is able to receive one free book each month for an entire year!  Currently, Warrick County has approximately 4,000 pre-school-age children.  Their mission, “To provide EVERY preschooler in Warrick County with quality books from birth to age five,” is becoming reality!

WLEC’s annual fundraiser, “For the Love of Books,” recently held at Friedman Park, raised a huge $57,641!

Fundraiser: Pot O'Gold Half Pot 2022 for Warrick Literacy

As part of their ongoing fundraising efforts, Warrick Literacy and Educational Connections is currently holding a Pot O’ Gold Half pot!  Tickets are being sold 1 for $5, or 5 for $20!  To purchase yours, email: winning#@warrickliteracy.org.  Multiple payment methods are available!

Why Should You Participate?

Currently, there are 1,850 children currently enrolled with an additional 421 children graduating who received books during at least part of the school year.  A total of 59,462 books have been mailed since inception!

The Castle North Middle School’s generationON club continues to strengthen and support the program each year by writing, illustrating, and publishing an original book!

If you would like to register a child in Warrick County, or if you would like to donate to the program, or even select one of the books the students have created, visit https://warrickliteracy.org or email warrickliteracy@gmail.com for more information.  Outside the Warrick County area, visit https://imaginationlibrary.com to find a program near you!

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