Dolly Parton is a singer and actress, but she is also helping spark children’s interest in reading through her Imagination Library.
Christy Fiala said the Fremont Area United Way is helping with Parton’s program at the local level.
“We fundraise so that we can send out a book to kiddos in the community between the ages of 0-5,” Fiala said. “You can go online and sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library so that your child, if they are under the age of 5, can get a book every month that is perfect for their age. That is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program and it is such a success. People love it.”
The program can benefit children in multiple ways.
“We know that when kids are read to and have the opportunity to look at books, that when they go to school they are more ready to learn,” Fiala said. “That is the idea to get books into the homes of kiddos at those ages so that they are more ready and prepared for when they go to kindergarten.”
Fiala, who is the Fremont Area United Way executive director, said local fundraising for the program goes through that organization.
“In order to be able to afford those books that go out — and over 1,000 books go out every month to individuals and to families in the community — Fremont Area United Way raises around $25,000 to fund that program,” Fiala said.
The program is limited to Dodge County residents.
“We get a lot of phone calls from folks who live in other counties that request the Imagination Library,” Fiala said. “But it is just for Dodge County because Dodge County is the community that donates to the program and benefits from that program.”
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the “Hats Off To Literacy” event is back this year. The program is scheduled for July 20 at the Fremont Golf Club. Many current and former teachers attend to support the event.
“It is a great time to contribute to this program and it is a big part of how we fundraise for it,” Fiala said. “It is fun to come together to have lunch and hear from individuals in the community who have been impacted by this program and who understand the value and impact of it.”