When is the last time you read an Imagination Library book to your child? Many families in Seward and Moose Pass are familiar with the Imagination Library program, but if you are new to the community or are just now starting your family, you may not be. The Seward/Moose Pass Imagination Library is a wonderful program that provides books to young children under the age of 5 who live in Seward and Moose Pass at no cost to their families. Each month, a book is mailed in the child’s name directly to his or her home or post office box. These books are for the child to keep to read over and over again. If you would like to register your child/children, you can register online at the Dolly Parton Imagination Library website or find us on Facebook.
Yes, really! In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create, and ensure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income. Dolly’s Imagination Library became so popular that in the year 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally. In 2009, The Seward/Moose Pass Imagination Library (SMPIL) was started and since then, 17,156 books have been mailed directly to and addressed to Seward/Moose Pass children age 5 and under!
Who pays for the books?
The Dollywood Foundation heavily subsidizes the cost of the books and postage for all the Imagination Libraries in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. The remaining cost of the books and postage is funded by various organizations, businesses and community members. For the last two years, The Seward Community Foundation has generously supported the total number of books and postage for all children receiving books in Seward and Moose Pass, and without their support it would be very difficult for the program to continue. The SMPIL is very grateful to have been awarded grants by The Seward Community Foundation in 2015 and 2016, and hope for continued partnership for years to come. Other donations from businesses and community members allow for the SMPIL to host community events and focus on registering as many children as we can in our community.
Why free books?
The SMPIL shares the same mission as the National Dollywood Foundation: “We will strive to make quality literature available to all children from birth through their fifth birthday. In doing so, we aim to promote early childhood literacy and increased proficiency upon entry into the local educational system. The books will be given to the children absolutely free. The only obligation of the child’s family is to spend time reading together.”
Who is eligible to receive books?
ALL children living in Seward or Moose Pass from birth to age 5, regardless of family income. A child’s first book will be The Little Engine That Could. Age-appropriate books will arrive monthly, and the month that the child turns 5, he/she will graduate from the program and receive the final book, Watch Out Kindergarten! Here I Come! Once registered, it takes 6-8 weeks for the first book to arrive. To register online, visit The Dolly Parton Imagination Library: Register My Child or click on the ‘Sign Up’ button on our Facebook page. You can also register in person in our upcoming event on Saturday, March 4th.
Join us in celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday! On Saturday, March 4th, The SMPIL, with generous support from The Seward Community Foundation, will be hosting a birthday party honoring Dr. Seuss and his books. There will be a family craft, story time, snacks and Dr. Seuss trivia. The event is open to the public and will be in the Children’s Reading Room at the Seward Community Library & Museum from noon to 2:00 pm.
If you know of a business, organization or individual who would like to donate tax deductible funds to support this gift to your children, donations can be sent to:
Seward/Moose Pass Imagination Library
PO Box 409
Seward, AK 99664-0409
or online at www.AlaskaImaginationLibrary.org