Central Elementary Pre-K celebrates Imagination Library’s impact on Carter County’s youth

Published 2:33 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

FROM STAFF REPORTS
On September 20, Central Elementary Pre-K hosted a heartwarming celebration of the Imagination Library program’s profound influence on Carter County’s young minds. The event featured esteemed guests, including Vice Principal Letha Carr, Pre-K Teacher Janet Hinkle, current Pre-K students, former Imagination Library beneficiaries Anna Perkey and Maple Winningham, and Imagination Library Board Member Dr. Billye Joyce Fine.
The Imagination Library initiative, founded by the iconic Dolly Parton, offers children from birth to age five in Carter County and Elizabethton City a monthly gift: a new, age-appropriate, and high-quality book. Remarkably, this service is provided at no cost to families, regardless of income. Over 91% of Carter County’s children participate in this program, receiving more than 2,200 books every month.
This impressive participation rate ranks Carter County as the third-largest program/affiliate in the state, with a collective goal of reaching 100% involvement.
While Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Foundation provides organizational support, mailing services, book selection, and bulk purchases, the funding is a collaborative effort. Half of the financial support comes from the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, while the remaining half, approximately $2,500 per month, is the responsibility of the Carter County Imagination Library Board.
To ensure the program’s sustainability and expansion, the Carter County Imagination Library Board calls upon the community for assistance. Donations of any amount can be sent to the Imagination Library Board of Carter County Treasurer, Mitch Broyles, at Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank, P.O. Box 1930, Elizabethton, TN 37643.
Research underscores the significance of early childhood literacy in shaping educational outcomes. Achieving grade-level reading proficiency by third grade is pivotal for future academic success. The Imagination Library serves as a crucial tool in nurturing a passion for reading, aiding children from all socio-economic backgrounds in preparing for school, and fostering lifelong learning habits.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox