FRANKLIN — The Johnson County Imagination Library hopes to reach 800 children in Greenwood on a waiting list, but the nonprofit must raise thousands of dollars to make it happen.
Sam and Sara Kinder live in Franklin and their two daughters Charlotte and Madlyn are enrolled in the program.
Story time before bedtime is a routine for both girls who have a long list of favorite books.
“They read me before bed,” Charlotte said.
She says she likes books because “it helps me learn”.
Every day around 7:30 p.m., the family meets in the living room to conclude the day.
“It allows us to have fun. They like to read. They like to read before going to bed. It’s fun,” said Sam Kinder, Charlotte and Madlyn’s father.
The Kinder sisters receive a free book each month as part of the Imagination Library program launched by music superstar Dolly Parton.
The program covers children up to the age of five. Over five years, a child can expect to receive 60 pounds.
Parton’s foundation works with local chapters like Franklin’s to cover book and mailing costs.
Sara makes a point of telling her pregnant friends about the value of the library. She knows it helps with academic and personal growth.
“Charlie has a big vocabulary and we definitely attribute that to us reading to him,” Sara said. “It’s fun to receive mail, to receive new ones and to be surprised. We love it.”
The Chair of the Johnson County Imagination Library Board of Trustees is Susan Crisafulli. She is well aware of the demand on the programs as an additional 800 children in Greenwood seek to take advantage of the program.
“Children who learn to read fluently and succeed academically are more likely to graduate from high school, less likely to be unemployed, less likely to live in poverty, and less likely to be incarcerated. and more likely to have good access to healthcare,” Crisafulli said. .
The group is looking to raise more money to expand its reach.
Johnson County Imagination Library is having a fundraiser this Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church at 9 and 11 a.m.