Did you know 61% of low income families have no books at home for their children? Yet reading with a preschool child is the single most important activity to prepare the child for school.
Our goal is to ensure that every child entering kindergarten has the tools to succeed. The Emerald City Rotary Foundation is partnering with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the Greenwood County Library to distribute books to children living in Greenwood County who are under the age of 5 years. With this partnership, Greenwood County children registered for the program receive a book mailed directly to their home every month at no charge until their fifth birthday.
Emerald City Rotary Foundation (ECRF)
The Emerald City Rotary Foundation (ECRF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by members of the Emerald City Rotary Club to provide support and funding for projects dedicated to the six areas of focus of Rotary, including supporting basic education and literacy, promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, saving mothers and children, and growing local economies. Within this framework, the primary goal of the foundation is to promote early childhood literacy in Greenwood County, and its main activity is sponsoring the Dollywood Foundation’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Greenwood County.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton launched her Imagination Library in 1995 to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. The Imagination Library provides a free hardcover book every month to children from newborn to age 5, at no cost to the family and regardless of income. In the year 2000, she made the Imagination Library available for replication to any community that is willing to partner with her to support it locally. Since the initial launch, the program has gone from just a few dozen books to over 95,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In September of 2017 alone, the Imagination Library sent books to 1,111,075 children. A committee of individuals with backgrounds in education, child development, academia, and early childhood literacy select age and culturally-appropriate books for distribution through the program. Research has shown that this program increases the frequency with which parents read to their children, resulting in improved school readiness scores, higher kindergarten literacy scores, and increased numbers of children reading at grade level in elementary school