Rotarians Barbara Ison and Margaret Hammonds attended Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Homecomin’ 2013 at the Music Road Hotel Conference Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in June, and talked with David Dotson, President of the Dollywood Foundation.
The theme of the conference, ‘Imagine More’, showcased two days of presenters sharing stories of success with the Imagination Library. Participants discussed ideas with other program leaders and learned how they have implemented the Imagination Library and raised funds to support the program.
Toni Buzzeo, Author of ‘One Cool Friend’, was on hand to sign her book, which has been made into a production now playing at Dollywood Theme Park. The highlight of the conference was an appearance by Dolly Parton. Over 200 individuals from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada attended the conference.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library started in Sevierville, Tenn., and because of its popularity, it was made available to other communities. Since the initial program began, nearly 40 million books have been mailed to children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Currently over 1,600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to children every month. Statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy.
The Rotary Club of Whitesburg sponsors the Imagination Library in Letcher County. The program is coordinated by Barbara Ison and Margaret Hammonds.