Imagine a home where a child’s proudest possession — sometimes her only possession — is a book.
Dolly Parton could imagine it because her own Smoky Mountain childhood was marked by significant material deprivation.
Teachers and child care workers can imagine it because as they visit the homes of little ones, they too often encounter just such situations, even here in Obion County.
Dolly and her army of volunteers in the Imagination Library program she initiated in 1996 cannot provide for every need in a child’s life, but they know from experience they can open the door to a much wider world than some children would otherwise encounter. And for every child, regardless of income level or circumstance of birth, they can nudge that inborn desire to learn and try to nurture that special bond that develops between an adult who reads aloud and a child who hears the words, sees the pictures and snuggles in the arms that hold the book.
As Tennessee celebrates 2010 Imagination Library Week through Saturday, a variety of programs are planned.
Locally, mayors of each Obion County community were given the opportunity to sign special proclamations recognizing the importance of reading aloud to infants and preschoolers and the value of providing these children their own specially-selected books through Dolly’s Imagination Library program and its area affiliate, Obion County Reading Railroad. These proclamations are now on display at each city hall.