Children got an extra special opportunity to exercise their imaginations recently when Imagination Library Week was celebrated at the Blount County Public Library.
Gov. Bredesen named the third week of September as Imagination Library Week across the state. Festivities Sept. 15 at the library included a special story hour highlighting Imagination Library books and coloring stations featuring Imagination Library story pictures. There were refreshments, and parents could sign up for Imagination Library services.
Imagination Library was initiated by Dolly Parton in 1996 through her foundation and was originally implemented to benefit preschool children and their families in Sevier County. The program is designed to foster a love of reading through increased access to books and reading time between parents and child.
Regardless of family income, each registered child receives an age appropriate book each month until the child turns 5. A parent or legal guardian must register their children.
If a child is registered at birth, he/she will have a personal library of 60 books when they enter kindergarten. This includes 10 books that are printed in both Spanish and English. Since its inception, Imagination Library has grown to hundreds of communities throughout the United States and Canada. Blount County, for example, has registered over 3,800 children as part of its program.