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Monday, August 4, 2008

Dolly Parton and Early Learning Partnership of York County to Team Up

We need your help. The Early Learning Partnership of York County is collecting funds to establish the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) in York County. Any child under 5 in York County will be eligible to register for the DPIL free of charge. The program is NOT limited to families who fall below a certain income threshold.

The Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company has contributed $15,000 this year; the United Way has awarded $15,000 to support the program; and the four school districts (York, Clover, Rock Hill, & Fort Mill) have committed $10,000. Contributions or commitments have also been received from the Wesley Class of St. John's UMC and the Lake Wylie Lioness Club. At an enrollment expense of $25 per child, we can enroll about 1,800 children, but there are 5,200 children in the Rock Hill Area alone. Please consider making a contribution. Send tax deductible donations to:

The Early Learning
Partnership of York County
Attn: Donna Wooldridge
120 Withers Building
Winthrop University
Rock Hill , SC 29733
Please note the Dolly Parton Imagination Library on your correspondence.

· 35% of children arrive at kindergarten not prepared to learn
· Evidence suggests that children who are not fluent readers and writers by the end of third grade are less likely to catch up with their peers
· One of the factors taken into consideration for building new prisons is based in part on the number of second graders not reading at second grade level.
· Low literacy is the socioeconomic factor prison inmates have most in common
· Studies show that children entering Kindergarten may have as much of a vocabulary gap as eight years. That is because a child who has not been read aloud to may have limited vocabulary of a 2 year old, while a child who has been read aloud to every day may have the vocabulary of a 10 year old.
· The average middle income child has 100 hours of being read aloud to compared to 25 hours for low income children
· 40% of America's 4th graders read below the basic level on national reading assessments
· Academic failure in late elementary school results in increased risk for substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school dropout and violence

"Dear Friends and Neighbors...
Growing up in the Smoky Mountains was a real blessing. There were some tough times, but most of our life was full of the kind of riches money can never buy. One of my most precious memories is sitting in my mother's lap and listening to her read me stories from the Bible. It felt so warm and cozy. My imagination soared to places far beyond our little cabin. Those wonderful moments with my mother inspired me to create my Imagination Library.
Thanks to The Early Learning Partnership of York County, all of the preschoolers in your community can now have their own Imagination Library. Just think, a book mailed to your child each month until their 5th birthday! I hope these books inspire you to read to your child. There is nothing quite like the sparkle in a child's eye when animals come alive and clowns dance on the page.
I hope you'll encourage your children to keep dreaming and to dream big. If my Imagination Library helps turn the dreams of a child into the promise of a bright future, then one of my biggest dreams will come true."
Dolly Parton

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