British Columbia Celebrates the Launch of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

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British Columbia Celebrates the Launch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Book program starting in 6 communities in the province

(Toronto, September 8, 2020) Today, Invest in Kids in partnership with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada, the British Columbia Ministry of Education, The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and the First Nations Education Steering Committee will launch Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in six First Nations communities in British Columbia. Up to 30 rural and remote communities are eligible to implement the program, with more expected to sign on over the next several months. A list of the participating communities can be found below.

"The education of our children is one of our most sacred responsibilities," said Michael de Jong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. "By partnering with Invest in Kids to support innovative literacy programs like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, we take another step forward in our goal to improve Aboriginal literacy rates and close the socio-economic gap between Aboriginal people and other British Columbians."

This exciting program is designed to give children an early start to their learning and development, providing age-appropriate books to encourage reading and language skills. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is being made available to all children under five from these areas through the support of The Ministry of Education in British Columbia. Each family will have the opportunity to register their child for the program and receive a free book every month in the mail until their child’s fifth birthday. The program offers a way for parents to connect with their children, support their children’s language development and prepare them for kindergarten.

"We are pleased to partner with Invest in Kids and the Dollywood Foundation of Canada on this program that encourages our youngest learners to read,” said B.C. Education Minister Shirley Bond. “When we inspire children to read, we open their eyes to new worlds and experiences.” “I couldn’t be more pleased that the Province of British Columbia is helping kids to get books through my Imagination Library program,” said singer and actress Dolly Parton. “When I started this program I wanted each and every kid in my hometown to know how special they were and I thought that books were the best way I knew to help open a world of possibilities for them. I never dreamed that the program would get this big and that we would be mailing out so many books each and every month. I am thrilled that more kids in British Columbia will enjoy being read to, and know what a gift they are to all of us, thanks to the help of the First Nations Education Steering Committee and the Ministry of Education.”

The communities participating in the program are:

Yekooche First Nation

Laxgalt’sap

Taku River

Tlingit First Nation

Penelakut Tribe

Sliammon First Nation

Skidegate

These six join a growing number of Canadian communities taking part in the Imagination Library program. 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 the child appropriately at every stage of his of her development. Since November 2006 when Invest in Kids partnered with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada to launch The Imagination Library in Canada, families from communities coast-to-coast in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and the Yukon have had the opportunity to register their child. In March, Nova Scotia became the first province in Canada to offer the program to all First Nations children born in the province. This year over 5 million hard cover books will be delivered to over 480,000 children throughout the United States and Canada.

To learn how to start an Imagination Library program in your community, please 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 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 Dolly Parton 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 and is currently benefiting more than 480,000 families and their young children. The program has been available in Canada to families with children under five since November 2006, when it was launched by Invest in Kids in partnership with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada. For additional information, visit: www.imaginationlibrary.com or www.investinkids.ca/imaginationlibrary.

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Media contact:
Krista Lamb
Invest in Kids
Manager, Media Relations and Publicity
1-877-583-5437 or (416) 977-1222 ext. 224
klamb@investinkids.ca



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