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Register your child to receive a book a month from the Imagination Library.

Elizabethtown — Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is here in Bladen County.

Reading is a healthy habit but not every child has the resources to develop that habit. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library hopes to change that for the children of North Carolina.

Funding for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to the age of 5, has been approved by state legislatures. The program will bring free books to the children of 98 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, including Bladen.

The program mails a free, age-appropriate book each month to children who are registered.

Dr. Margaret Lawrence is Interim Eecutive Director of Bladen Smart Start – A Partnership for Children, Inc. the nonprofit organization that will be overseeing the Imagination Library in the county.

Dolly Parton got the inspiration for the Imagination Library by reflecting on her upbringing in east Tennessee and by her father’s inability to read and write. What started as a charity program for the children in her home of Sevier County, Tennessee, now spans four countries. Over 1 million free books each month are mailed to children in participating communities around the world.

The Imagination Library in Bladen County has been funded for at least the next year and a half. Bladen Smart Start hopes for more funding in the future that will allow the program to continue.

Smart Start aims to use the program to create an interest in reading among young children that will inspire a love of reading.

“If you have not registered your child yet do so by one of the following ways: online at www.imaginationlibrary.com click the “Getting Started” tab. Stop by our office at 228 B West Broad Street Elizabethtown, NC 28337.  Paper registration forms are located throughout the county and can be completed and mailed in.

If you or your organization would like to know more about all of Bladen Smart Start activities, contact us at 910-862-3335 for more information.