While attending a show at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN, Mr. and Mrs. Miller learned about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Familiar with the kindergarten readiness initiative, the Millers reached out to David Hanlin about bringing the reading program to Washington County. He connected them with the Community Foundation as the program had already launched here three years ago. The Millers, both retired educators, were thrilled to learn the program already existed in Washington County and wanted to assist in getting the word out to the community. They attended Lincolnshire Elementary School’s Back-to-School night setting up a table to register new participants. They had 9 children register that evening and have offered to help the Foundation with sponsoring those children.
Over the past three years, more than 1,000 children have graduated from Imagination Library upon turning five years old. Each child receives an age appropriate book once a month at their home. For children enrolled in the program at birth, he or she has the potential to receive 60 books!
The Foundation partnered with Pauline Anderson, Mathias Charitable Trust, Agnita Stine Schreiber Foundation, United Way of Washington County and Washington County Public Schools on this program. We also received a grant from the Mizell Family Endowment Fund, and the Foundation’s Board of Trustees re-approved the allocation of $5,000 towards the program as part of its yearly granting process. The Community Foundation continues to work with CAC, The Family Center, Head Start, WIC and the Judy Center in order to reach its intended audience with the necessary registration cards and information.