Podcast: Haverhill Promise to Offer Free Books Through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995.

Haverhill children, from infants through age five, could soon be recipients of free books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The program will be conducted through Haverhill Promise, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Director Jenny Arndt was a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program and said the Haverhill Education Foundation has agreed to underwrite the program the first year. Arndt said the country singer and songwriter has been a champion for reading for many years and established an international program to encourage young readers.

“So, Dolly knows, the same that we know at Haverhill Promise, that just simply having more books in the home has been proven to improve reading outcomes for kids because they’re excited about books. We parents want to sit down and read the books or an older sibling wants to read with you,” she explained.

Parton’s program delivers one, age appropriate, book per month to each child enrolled.

“So, every month your child will get a book in the mail specifically for them, that is age and developmentally appropriate, just to help build up their home libraries,” Arndt said.

She added the foundation does a good job of selecting titles.

“The Dolly Parton Foundation has this wonderful team of educators and parents and all kinds of people that select the books every year. I was able to go and look at all the books that they gave away this past year and the year before, and they are really wonderful. There’s a great variety. I believe about one quarter of them are bilingual, English and Spanish, which we are very excited about for our city.”

Arndt said the project launches soon by enrolling babies served by the local Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. Those looking to help contribute to the project may visit HaverhillPromise.com for details. Information about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is also available at ImaginationLibrary.com.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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