Dolly Parton's Imagination Library now available in Cedar Rapids

MGN Online

A literacy program that has distributed more than 100 million books to children is now available in Cedar Rapids.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library mails a free book each month to a child's home from birth until they are five years old. Thanks to support from the Cedar Rapids Community Foundation’s Program and Community Investment Funds and other donors, the program is available in Cedar Rapids.

In Cedar Rapids, one in four students does not read proficiently by third grade. In low income households, that increases to one in three. According to the most recent data from the 2016-17 school year, 45% of children entering kindergarten in Cedar Rapids were not ready.

“Reaching children at the youngest age possible, and providing them with ongoing resources necessary to advance towards literacy, is essential in combatting these statistics,” said Charity Tyler, Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation. “In a middle-income neighborhood, the ratio of books to children is 13 books to one child; in a low-income neighborhood, the ratio is one book to 300 children. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides a child enrolled at birth with a personal library of 60 books before entering kindergarten.”

To participate, children must be residents of Cedar Rapids and under five years of age. Registration forms are available at both the Downtown and Ladd libriaries, as well as online.

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