ND First Lady, CSPS meet to discuss Imagination Library
North Dakota’s First Lady, Betsy Dalrymple, was at Center-Stanton Public Schools last week to provide information about a cause that’s near and dear to her heart: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The program provides free books to children from birth until their fifth birthday.
“It’s the perfect program, I think, to get young people excited about books,” Dalrymple said.
Dalrymple met with CSPS Superintendent Curt Pierce, Deb Clarys of Security First Bank, and Elementary Principal Kathy Bullinger to discuss the possibility of starting an Imagination Library program in Oliver County. Imagination Library requires a non-profit organization to become the “local champion”; the local champion then works with partners in the community to publicize the program, register children, and raise funds to pay the monthly costs for books, postage and mailing.
Registered children receive 12 free, age-appropriate books mailed directly to their homes each month. All children from birth to age 5 who live within the geographic boundaries of a sponsored program can be registered. The sponsor pays $25 per registered child per year.
“They’re great quality books,” Dalrymple said. “You can’t buy 12 books for 25 dollars, especially hard-bound books.”
Books are selected by a committee that includes parents, teachers, child development specialists, librarians, publishers, and early childhood literacy specialists. In addition to being age appropriate, books are also chosen to encourage a love of learning and promote positive themes like confidence, self-esteem, culture, and environment. There are currently 15 counties, 12 cities, and 11 school districts in North Dakota that offer Imagination Library programs, including the Bismarck/Mandan area.