HICKORY — Hickory Public Library and the Catawba County Partnership for Children are partnering to provide books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program to children within the City of Hickory.

Hickory Public Library will provide $12,500 to the Catawba County Partnership for Children’s Imagination Library program. This contribution will fund Imagination Library subscriptions for 500 children within the Hickory city limits.

“Hickory Public Library is always looking for ways to support early literacy and early childhood education in our community. Our support of the Imagination Library program in Hickory is an excellent opportunity to help foster early literacy, instill a love of learning, and fuel the imaginations of our youngest citizens,” said Sarah Greene, Hickory Public Library director.

Imagination Library is a program that sends one free, age-appropriate, children’s book in the mail to each enrolled child every month from birth to age 5.

The Catawba County Partnership for Children, an official affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, is a local nonprofit agency focused on “ensuring every child in Catawba County enters kindergarten prepared for lifelong success.” Through the state-funded Smart Start initiative, the N.C. Pre-Kindergarten Program, Imagination Library, and other early childhood-related efforts, the Catawba County Partnership for Children works to engage local stakeholders in supporting young children and families.

“We currently have over 5,000 Catawba County children enrolled in our Imagination Library program. While the program is free for all enrolled children, thanks to the support of the Dollywood Foundation, our agency’s cost is only about $2 per book, or about $25 per year, per child,” said Kim Lyke Holden, executive director of the Catawba County Partnership for Children. “This generous donation from Hickory Public Library further supports our local Imagination Library program and will gift one book each month for an entire year to 500 children in Hickory.”

For more information about the Catawba County Partnership for Children and its Imagination Library program, visit www.catawbakids.com or call 828-695-6505. For more information about Hickory Public Library, visit www.hickorync.gov/library or call 828-304-0500.

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