June 18, 2015

First Lady promotes reading to children

By Jerry W. Kram

Corduroy was a bear. He was a lonely bear and just wanted someone to love him. A little girl found him at the store, and even though he was missing a button, used her own money to buy him and take him home and love him.

That was the story read by North Dakota’s first lady, Betsy Dalrymple, to young people at the North Lights Building in New Town. Dalrymple has been crisscrossing the state reading to children and promoting the Imagination Library. That program, created by the Dolly Parton Foundation, mails books to children ages 0-5 at no charge to the families.

"I’ve spent a lot of my time since becoming first lady promoting this program," Dalrymple said. "When I started there were eight affiliates (in North Dakota) and now there are more than 40. We figure that about 82 percent of the children in the state are eligible to be signed up. That doesn’t mean they are signed up, but they could be signed up."

Hess Corporation and WPX Energy provided donations to establish new Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library programs in Stanley and New Town. The companies donated more than $30,000. The donations are being distributed in partnership with the Souris Valley United Way in Minot. All children aged 0-5 on the Fort Berthold reservation are eligible to participate in the program.


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