The donations equate to free books for a month for all registered kids in Flagler County.
by: Samira Taite-Headspeth
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library received donations in May totaling more than $3,000 — enough to provide books for all registered Flagler County families for a month.
The two donations came from University Women of Flagler and the Palm Coast Songwriters Festival.
University Women of Flagler, established in 2006, donated $1,500.
“UWF is proud to help the young women and children of Flagler County achieve their full potential,” wrote Maureen Walsh, of UWF. “Funds are generated through events and scholarships.”
Local organizers of the Palm Coast Songwriters Festival donated $1,732.53, through their affiliation with the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler/Volusia Counties. The donation came from funds raised from the raffle of a guitar autographed by the four-day festival’s 31 songwriters.
“The first ways that children experience books are just by picking them up,” said Nancy Walsh, quality advocate with the Early Learning Coalition. “The earlier we can get books into the hands of children, it starts them on the path to developing literacy skills that are age appropriate throughout their early years.”
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age 5, no matter the family’s income. To help fund books and/or register a child, visit www.flaglerimaginationlibrary.org. Without community donations, the program isn't possible, Walsh said.
“Our goal is for every child in Flagler County to receive one book each month until they turn 5 years old so that they enter kindergarten loving books and prepared to become readers,” said John Birney Jr., an advocate for early learning on the Palm Coast Young Professionals Group.
“Local supporters like the PCSF make it possible to keep programs like this going.”
Tickets for next year’s Palm Coast Songwriters Festival are on sale at https://www.palmcoastsongwritersfestival.com/purchasetickets.