Extol Magazine

OCT-NOV 2016

Extol Magazine Celebrating Southern Indiana is a local publication that covers stories about businesses people places or events throughout the cities of New Albany Jeffersonville Clarksville Sellersburg and Louisville KY

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HAPPILY SPONSORED BY example BY NICHOLAS SIEGEL | PHOTOS BY DANNY ALEXANDER THE CLASSIC CHILDREN'S BOOK e Little Engine that Could is one that has a special meaning for Becky King, director of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Floyd County. It's a book she remembers her mom reading to her when she was young — one that helped fuel her interest in reading in the first place. Now that she is involved with the Imagination Library, she has the opportunity to help the children of this generation learn to love reading, too. Dolly Parton launched the Imagination Library in 1995 specifically to benefit the children of her county in East Tennessee. It was a way for her to honor her father, who instilled a love of reading in her at an early age. Today, the program serves 1,800 communities in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK and provides 900,000 children with books through the mail each month. "ey're high quality, beautiful illustrations, lovely stories with vocabulary that helps expand a child's world," said King. "I can't say enough about the quality of the books and the fact that they're age appropriate. e parents can immediately begin reading them to a child and truly expand a child's world. It's such a great program." e program is designed so that each child receives a book in the mail every month until they turn five. It's absolutely free for families to sign up, which The Start of a Lifelong Journey Imagination Librar y , a free program, provides a book a month for kids up to the age of five is why the library depends heavily on sponsorships and donations to make their work possible. "We are serving 3,541 children in September, and that's 79.7 percent of the eligible children in our county," says King. "So when I'm out and about, I think eight out of the ten little people I might run across in the mall or the grocery store are in this program and have the opportunity to have books all around them and the opportunity for families to read together. at is a great feeling." Each year, a Blue Ribbon committee in Tennessee looks at the books that are out there for children age five and younger and decides which ones will be distributed through the program. e committee has several members who have backgrounds in early childhood education, so they have expert insight into the most appropriate books to distribute. Locally, the program is also offered in Harrison, Scott and Washington counties, and King is also part of an advisory board for the newest branch— Jefferson County in Kentucky. With generous sponsors such as Junior League and WAVE 3, the Jefferson County branch will start their work with some of the zip codes in inner city Louisville. For interested parents, there are many ways to register a child. "A parent can go online at imaginationlibrary.com, and register online, but we also 14 EXTOL • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

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