Free Books for Yukon's Youngest! The Yukon Celebrates the Launch of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library



    TORONTO, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - On October 19th Invest in Kids in partnership
with the Whitehorse Rendezvous Rotary and the Yukon Literacy Coalition and
support from the Yukon Government will launch Dolly Parton's Imagination
Library in the Yukon. The program will be delivered by the Yukon Family
Literacy Coalition and is supported by the Yukon Government. Newborns from
Yukon rural communities will have the opportunity to receive a free, age
appropriate, book every month in the mail until their fifth birthday.
    Inspiring a love of reading and literacy, The Imagination Library program
offers a way for parents to connect with their children, support their
children's language development and prepare them for kindergarten. Each month
children receive books that are carefully selected by a group of experts in
education, child development and early childhood literacy, ensuring that the
content they read and the illustrations in the books are supporting their
child appropriately at every stage of his of her development.
    The Yukon is the largest geographic area to date to join The Imagination
Library program with communities from to Beaver Creek (the most western
community in Canada) to Old Crow (north of the Arctic Circle) to Watson Lake
(the gateway to the Yukon), an area that is 482,443 km2.
    Singer, Dolly Parton and The Dollywood Foundation started the program in
1996 so that every preschool child in her home of Sevier County, Tennessee
would have their own library of books that would help them develop a love or
reading and learning. Since November 2006 when Invest in Kids partnered with
The Dollywood Foundation to launch The Imagination Library in Canada, families
coast-to-coast in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland, New
Brunswick and the Yukon have the opportunity to register their child. This
year over 4.4 million hard cover books will be delivered over 380,000 children
throughout the United States and Canada.
    "I am thrilled that the good folks at Rotary decided to bring the
Imagination Library to the kids in the Yukon Territory. I imagine books may be
pretty hard to come by in parts of the Yukon - just like when I was a child
growing up in the Smoky Mountains. So, to know that we have now joined hands
with the wonderful and kind people of the Yukon to help bring a love of
reading to all of these kids - well, it just doesn't get any better than
that!" Dolly Parton, Founder of The Imagination Library.
    To help enrich rural communities in the Yukon, The Yukon Family Literacy
Coalition will train literacy workers to show parents how to make the most out
of the time they spend reading with their child. Children in these rural
communities, some of which do not have access to a library or book store, will
benefit from having access to regular books. Over the course of the program,
children from birth to age five will receive a total of 60 books delivered
right to their home.
    To learn how to start an Imagination Library program in your community,
people can call The Imagination Library at 1-877-583-KIDS x 293 or visit
www.investinkids.ca or www.imaginationlibrary.com.

    Invest in Kids is a national charity dedicated to helping parents become
the parents they want and need to be. By translating the science of parenting
and child development into engaging, easy-to-understand, relevant resources
for parents and professionals, Invest in Kids aims to strengthen the parenting
knowledge, skills and confidence of all those who touch the lives of our
youngest children to ensure the healthy social, emotional and intellectual
development of children from birth to age five. For additional information,
visit www.investinkids.ca.

    The Imagination Library supports children's language and literacy skills
and prepares them for school by gifting every signed-up newborn with a free
age-appropriate book a month until the child's fifth birthday. It helps
parents build a positive parent-child relationship through rich sensory
exchange as they start reading to their child from early on. Started in the
U.S. by Dolly Parton in 1996 in her native Tennessee, The Imagination Library
expanded across the States benefiting more than 200,000 families and their
young children. The program is available in Canada to families with newborns
(0-12 months) since November 2006, when it was launched by Invest in Kids in
partnership with The Dollywood Foundation. For additional information, visit
www.investinkids.ca/imaginationlibrary.

    The Whitehorse Rendezvous Rotary Club, with financial support from the
Yukon Government Community Development Fund, has established a partnership
with the Yukon Literacy Coalition to deliver the Imagination Library project
to rural Yukon communities. The Imagination Library project will also provide
family literacy programs and activities to supplement the delivery of the
books to rural Yukon children. These programs will be delivered by local
community literacy champions who are trained and supported by the Yukon Family
Literacy Coalition (YLC).

    www.yukonliteracy.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Media contact: 1-877-583-5437 or (416) 977-1222
ext. 224, Lindsay Robertson, Communications Coordinator,
lrobertson@investinkids.ca

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