Children signed up in the Imagination Library program will have their own personal library by the time they graduate at age five, Kate Toye, literacy coordinator for North Coast Literacy Now, said. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Children signed up in the Imagination Library program will have their own personal library by the time they graduate at age five, Kate Toye, literacy coordinator for North Coast Literacy Now, said. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

PRPA donates $7,500 so kids cans receive free books

The North Coast Literacy Now supports Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

A $7,500 donation to sponsor a literacy initiative by Dolly Parton has been received by North Coast Literacy Now (NCLN) from the port, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced, on Jan. 27.

The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program launched in the city in the spring of 2021, providing free books for more than 170 children in the region. Twenty-six participants have graduated from the book club after receiving one book per month until they reach the age of five.

The Imagination Library was developed by music icon and philanthropist Dolly Parton, with the global goal of inspiring children to love reading. It partners with community-based non-profits, such as NCLN to deliver more than 150 million books to kids in six countries.

Parents can sign their newborns to begin receiving an age-appropriate book every month in the mail. The library of literature includes plenty of Indigenous Canadian content, Kate Toye, NCLN’s literacy outreach coordinator, told The Northern View.

More than 5,800 children are registered to receive books from the program in B.C.

The Prince Rupert initiative was originally budgeted $10,000 as a one-year pilot program. The PRPA donation of additional funding will allow the continuance until at least March 2023, Toye said.

“By the time they go through the program, they will have quite a library,” she said.

Families with multiple young ones signed up for the program will each receive a different book mailed directly addressed to their child.

“How exciting is it to be little and get something in the mailbox once a month,” Toye said. “It’s such a cool program.

Shaun Stevenson, PRPA president and CEO, said the port is proud to support NCLN.

“[This is an] important endeavour, and [we] encourage more families to sign-up for the Imagination Library to receive books every month,” he said.

Imaginationlibrary.com/ca/affiliate/BCPRINCERUPERT/.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert teacher turns the page on literacy

READ MORE: Literacy improves life, from the past to the future


Norman Galimski | Journalist
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