Weekly program expansion continues for the Imagination Library of Washington (ILWA), with the exciting addition of new program affiliate, Gig Harbor Rotary Charitable Fund. Rotary Club of Gig Harbor, in partnership with funding partner Altrusa Gig Harbor, are now enrolling children ages birth to five years old for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the Pierce County zip codes of 98329 (Wauna), 98332 (Gig Harbor), 98333 (Fox Island), 98335 (Gig Harbor), 98349 (Herron Island), 98351 (Lakebay), and 98394 (Vaughn). Additional regions of Pierce County are also in the works.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails high quality, age-appropriate books each month to children from birth to five years old, free to the family. This early literacy program is proven to achieve equitable access to books, increase school readiness, foster a love of reading and books, and improve family engagement.
“The Gig Harbor Rotary Charitable Fund is so excited to be the affiliate for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Gig Harbor, WA and the Key Peninsula, WA. Our Club will celebrate literacy month in September and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is helping us achieve those literacy goals. Our partner on the Key Peninsula is Altrusa of Gig Harbor and we are excited to partner with such a great group serving the greater Key Peninsula.
The Gig Harbor Rotary Charitable Fund does an excellent job supporting literacy from kindergarten through graduate school. Programs for kindergarten through high school are supported through gifts to Communities in Schools programs. Also for high school students, we have a robust scholarship program for undergraduates, where we distribute more $50,000 per year, but the age group that we were missing was the birth to kindergarten-age kids,” said Gig Harbor Rotarian Rand Wilhelmsen.
Brooke Fisher-Clark, Executive Director of the Imagination Library of Washington states, “it feels like my favorite holiday every time new Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program coverage is activated in our state. I get goose bumps because I know anticipation is high throughout the state for this program to arrive. Today is that special holiday feeling again, as the Imagination Library of Washington team celebrates our newest hero, Gig Harbor Rotary in partnership with their founding sponsor, Gig Harbor Altrusa who are going to ignite smiles throughout the Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula region as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is now available to inspire a love of reading and help children learn, imagine, and connect.”
"Since Altrusa of Gig Harbor came to Gig Harbor over 40 years ago, service and literacy have been at the forefront of our leadership focus. We are so excited to be a part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library project, and proud to partner with Gig Harbor Rotary Charitable Foundation to make it all happen for the children of Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula! As a leader in service, Altrusa has mentored in schools, raised funding for food through our Empty Bowls event, supported the formation and operation of Peninsula Youth Orchestra and donated countless hours of volunteer work to all parts of the community. Getting a book into the hands of all the children under the age of 5 here will make a difference in all their lives. We are committed to make it happen!", said Altrusa Club member Marla DeHope.
Incredible growth is happening throughout Washington to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to every county in the state. Washington now has twenty-three fully covered counties bringing free monthly books to nearly 29,000 kids. As momentum continues to build, the goal of achieving 150,000 kids enrolled in the Imagination Library in Washington by June of 2023 is well within reach.
Prospecting for new state affiliates to close coverage gaps has continued to be successful, with several organizations launching coverage in the summer months. New program heroes will be announced as they activate coverage; regular program updates can be found by following the Imagination Library of Washington on social media and visiting the ILWA website.
To check program availability in your area and enroll your child for free monthly books, visit www.imaginationlibrarywashington.org.