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All For The Kids

By Staff | Apr 21, 2010

Two-and-a-half-year-old Finn Loy is held by his mother, Kandi Loy, as they wait for Charles Watson to finish his balloon creation during the kick off event of the Imagination Library in Wetzel County. The event was held Thursday at the Mollohan Center on the 4-H grounds and featured a variety of informational booths and attractions such as face painting, sno-cones, popcorn, drawings, and story time. Children could also sign up for a library card. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that is new to the area that provides children age birth to age five with one free book per month. There are no income guidelines, children only need to live in Wetzel County to be eligible. The books are sent through the mail, giving the children an added excitement. Children can register at any time at any of the county’s public libraries. (Photo by Amy Witschey)

An exciting program has come to Wetzel County and I sincerely hope all children ages birth to five will take part in it. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library kicked off here Thursday during an event at the Mollohan Center on the 4-H Grounds. While my daughter and I were in attendance, there weren’t too many children and parents there. I certainly hope we just missed the crowds, because this is an incredible program. It provides children with one free book per month until they turn five.

Most children just naturally love books, so it is important to get as many as possible into their hands at this young, impressionable age. It is the best time to foster a lifelong love that will improve their life. Reading is not only a necessary skill, it improves vocabulary, imparts knowledge, transports the mind, and provides a boredom buster.

While I know it is true, it is inconceivable to me that some children do not have books in their homes. I once heard a teacher tell of a student who brought a phone book to school when they were asked to bring a book from home. The student said it was the only book they had in their home. Such a state is truly inexcusable even without the Imagination Library, but now pre-school children certainly have a way to get books.

And this isn’t just for low income children. It is open to everyone. I signed my daughter up, that’s why we were at the event. We took home our first book that day. Plus she enjoyed the sno-cone, face painting, and balloon animal.

Unfortunately you can’t get a flavored icy treat at your local library, but you can still sign up for the Imagination Library. (I also hear the Hundred Public Library is planning an even of their own on May 7, so watch for details.) Just go to your nearest library, tell them what you want, and they’ll help you with the simple, necessary form.

Do it today. Do it for your children.

By the way, the ladies from the New Martinsville Public Library were asking me at every turn Thursday, “Have you tried Tumble Books?!” I told them I had the information about it, but I hadn’t been to the Web site yet. “Oh you just have to try it!” they gushed. “It’s great!”

Well Joellen and I have tried Tumble Books and they are great. Just go to the NMPL’s Web site, newmartinsville.lib.wv.us/, and click on the Tumble Books Online Children’s Books link. It is a world of puzzles, vocabulary, and books. The online books can be used on automatic or manual mode. My daughter loves them, and so do I.

I couldn’t believe how many titles there are on the site and some of the subjects might be on just the topic your child needs.

The other public libraries in the county also have Web sites, but I couldn’t find Tumble Books on them. But really, it doesn’t matter where your computer is located, with the World Wide Web we’re all connected. Check out Tumble Books. You’ll be glad you did.