Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is coming to Cape Ann!
Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester), Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Pathways for Children, and the First R Foundation announced today that Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be providing one engaging, high-quality book a month to children of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester from birth to the age of five, delivered directly to their home and at no cost to families.
This program is being made available to the children of Cape Ann via a partnership between the Dollywood Foundation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Pathways for Children, the First R Foundation, and the City of Gloucester. The partnership will provide a free book every month to children from birth until the age of five. There is no means test or other requirement in order to qualify, any child under the age of five who resides on Cape Ann is eligible to sign up. Parents may sign up their children at imaginationlibrary.com/usa/affiliate/MACAPEANN.
The Imagination Library of Cape Ann will be managed by Pathways for Children in cooperation with the First R Foundation. Funding for Cape Ann’s participation in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is made possible by state funding from the CARES Act and the FY2021 budget.
“Bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Cape Ann has been 18 months in the making. Like Dolly and the First R Foundation, I am a firm believer in the notion that if you can read, you can do anything,” said Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante. “Many may remember that my mother, Frances Ferrante, was the librarian at Fuller Elementary School. From watching her and her colleagues reading to children and hosting family reading nights, I learned the importance and enthusiasm that can be inspired in children through reading. The DPIL will provide a foundation for a region-wide platform to support children’s literacy.”
“Anyone who has ever read to a child understands how important a love of reading is for a child’s success in school and in life,” said Senator Bruce Tarr. “Literacy is fundamental to learning so the partnership between Pathways for Children, the First R Foundation, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will create welcome opportunities for Cape Ann families with young children. This week is Dolly’s 75th birthday and this joint announcement is a fantastic way to help her celebrate.”
“My sincere appreciation to all who helped make this happen for the City of Gloucester’s youngest residents. Literacy skills and awareness are so important and beneficial to early education,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “I encourage all Gloucester parents to take advantage of this amazing opportunity that will complement the incredible children and families programs currently offered at the Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library. Together, these opportunities will help build strong foundations and foster a love of learning for the next generation of Gloucester public school students.”
“Reading doesn’t start in kindergarten. Early literacy skills begin at birth—built through playing, singing, talking, sharing books, and telling stories. Pre-reading activities are critical to help children thrive in their earliest years and to set them on a path to being confident and capable learners for a lifetime,” said Eric Mitchell, President & CEO of Pathways for Children. “This partnership supports Pathways’ commitment to early literacy and, with the help of the Imagination Library, allows us to gift a carefully selected book to every child in Cape Ann from birth to 5 years old, monthly. But more importantly, we are gifting a legacy of literacy to the next generation in our community.”
“We are thrilled to continue the mission of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library by picking up and continuing to give books for the Kindergarten and First Grades!” said Patricia Earle, founder of the First R Foundation.
“I want to thank my colleague Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante for leading on this important effort to deliver books to all the children of Cape Ann,” said Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich). “I’m pleased to be a part of it.”
About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has gifted well over 170 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.7 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit imaginationlibrary.com.