Amy Karr of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library was a surprised and happy recipient of a $5,000 donation from the Lamar Rotarians and the district organization during their weekly meeting this past Thursday, November 6.
Karr and a small group of volunteers have represented the Imagination Library for Lamar and McClave for almost a full year. The goal is to provide free, age appropriate books to children less than five years of age. Each child in a household will receive a free book a month until they’re of an age to begin kindergarten.
“We currently have 116 children enrolled and have graduated nine who are now older than our age limit,” she explained to the luncheon gathering. Karr said her group advertises the program at area day care and pre-schools to spread the information about the book distribution service. “We have about $6,000 in donations right now, but we’re planning on a local fund-raising event,” she said a few minutes before the check was presented to her by Rotarian, Mike Renken.
Parents can register their children online at imaginationlibrary.com and additional information is available through their social media facebook site. Karr said the process of distributing the books has been simplified as her group sends a monthly update to the main company who will mail the books directly to the child’s home. “Everybody’s first book is, ‘The Little Engine that Could’, she said and after that different books are mailed out so there’s a continuous variety. She explained that a group of educators review the books and make a determination on what to send based on a child’s age and reading ability. Spanish editions will be sent when indicated during the sign-up process.
Renken explained how the Rotary supports literacy nationwide with their annual dictionary project which gives a full-scale edition to third grade students in the region. Those books are personally presented to each student by a Rotarian. Renken said the Rotary is always happy to support literacy and the 50% donation from the district organization allowed for a larger amount for the Imagination Library.
By Russ Baldwin
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