Dolly Parton's Imagination Library was established in 1995 by the Dollywood Foundation to benefit young children living in eastern Tennessee. Since then it has expanded worldwide and has mailed over 104 million books to children. The Stocker Foundation launched the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for all of Lorain County in July 2017. While the program is free for families and children to participate in, running the program costs about $25 per child each year.
Open to all children from birth to age five, children who are registered with the Lorain County Imagination Library will receive a brand-new book each month, mailed directly to their home at no-cost, regardless of income. If a parent were to sign up their child at birth, they would enter kindergarten with an at-home library of 60 books. In Lorain County, approximately 17,000 children are currently eligible to participate. According to the Global Book Desert Map from Unite for Literacy, it is estimated only 33% of homes in Lorain County have more than 100 books.
The Pat Lindley Charitable Fund was created in 2010 in memory of Pat Lindley, a beloved community leader and longtime director of the Herrick Memorial Library in Wellington. Lindley also served on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to honor the life and legacy of Pat Lindley. This program helps all children to be ready to learn and ready to read when they enter school, and helps to sustain their literacy skills through breaks in the school year once children are of school age,” said Cynthia H. Andrews, President and CEO of the Community Foundation in her remarks at the annual meeting.
Anyone can donate to support the Lorain County Imagination Library challenge grant at https://www.loraincountyimaginationlibrary.org/donate
The Community Foundation also released its 2017 Report to the Community. In 2017, the Community Foundation received over $5.8 million in gifts, distributed over $6 million in grants and scholarships, and ended the year with assets of $138 million. The annual report can be viewed on the Community Foundation’s website peoplewhocare.org
The Community Foundation of Lorain County is a public foundation established in 1980 with income from endowment funds contributed by individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation is an open and inclusive anchor institution that works to improve the quality of life for those living and working in Lorain County, Ohio. It responds to the changing needs of the community by making grants to local nonprofit organizations and providing scholarships to benefit local students.