GREENE COUNTY — Greene County Public Library Foundation’s affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library reached a milestone by delivering its 300,000th book to Greene County children this month.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails one age-appropriate book to any child ages 0-5 per month. Since starting in Greene County in 2013, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has benefited more than 11,000 children.
“I am so happy to see so many Greene County residents taking advantage of this wonderful program,” said Kim Bautz, youth services coordinator for the Greene County Public Library (GCPL).
As the point person for the county’s program, Bautz sees firsthand the impact it has on children.
“Many caregivers have expressed to me the change in their child’s attitude about books since they began the program,” she said.
Earlier this year, Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine announced an effort to bring the program statewide at the Kay Webster Early Literacy Award banquet in March. Gov. Mike DeWine then included expanding the program in the current state budget. As part of the expansion, Dayton Children’s Hospital started their initial signup in partnership with Dayton Metro Public Library last week, garnering more than 1,200 registrations on the first day.
Although the program is well-established locally, support from the governor’s office will likely have a positive effect on Greene County, GCPL Communications Coordinator Ryan Ireland said in a release.
“The Ohio Governor’s support of the Imagination Library is going to help us reach even more children and encourage them to develop those early literacy skills,” said Bautz, noting that 65 children registered in Greene County after hearing about the program from Dayton Metro. “It goes to show that investing in children’s literacy and strong libraries improve the lives of everyone, regardless of zip code. We look forward to delivering the next 300,000 books.”
To learn more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library or to register a child for the program, visit the Greene County Public Library Foundation website at www.greenelibraryfoundation.org.