Help our children love reading

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We often are presented with the opportunity to promote and support worthy causes, but perhaps none more important to our community than the one Curtis Simpson brought last week.

Simpson attended a program last year at which he learned of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which gives a child a book each month until he or she goes to school. He came home determined to see that Covington County children get those books.

Parton’s Imagination Library was launched in 1996 for preschoolers in Sevier County, Tenn., as a gift of encouragement for the children of her Smoky Mountain homeland.

The program has since expanded around the world, Simpson said. By the year’s end, he plans to bring it to Covington County.

A committee composed of individuals from education, child development, academia and early childhood literacy select the books for Dolly’s Imagination Library. The children’s classic, The Little Engine That Could is the first book of each library and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate is the final book in the collection. Each book is addressed and mailed to the child.

Simpson is seeking sponsors for the non-profit, which will operate with a 501C-3 for mailing purposes. The program costs $2.33 per child per month.

At present, he is sending letters to potential sponsors and following up with them. Anyone interested in the program is asked to contact him at 427-9907 or 488-4303, or by email at