This Christmas, we hope you’ll consider giving the gift of reading. It is the gift that continues giving well into a child’s life.
What’s better than just getting a book? Spending time reading it to a little one – son, daughter, grandchild, nephew or neighbor. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County, administered by the Public Library, has sent out nearly 230,000 books this year to about 20,000 kids under the age of 5. That’s a lot of bedtime stories. A lot of new words. A lot of new colors, shapes, numbers and letters. A lot of kids who are more prepared to start Kindergarten.
It’s been a wonderful year for the Imagination Library in Knox County. After the disruptions of Covid, we were able to get out into the community to meet with families and register kids for the program. We attended events hosted by DollyFest, Parents as Teachers, the United Way of Greater Knoxville and so many others. We worked with all of our area birthing hospitals to make sure every new parent got information on the program. We’re thankful for our partners.
In July, we launched a QR code registration campaign in 19 Food City locations, strategically placed in their diaper and baby food aisles. In August, The Dollywood Foundation launched a statewide campaign to promote the Dolly license plates. Fifteen dollars from each plate supports the local Imagination Library program. Since the plates launched in 2018, Knox County has received more than $40,000 in license plate revenues.
It only costs $15 to buy and mail a book every month to one child for an entire year through Imagination Library. Whether you give the gift of reading through the Imagination Library or directly to a child in your life, we hope you’ll give the gift of reading. If giving books isn’t in your budget, take time to make sure all the kids under 5 in your life are registered to receive books in the mail. Reading is one of the best gifts you can give.
Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library