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Cabell schools to launch Imagination Library

Oct. 28, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Cabell County children from birth to 5 years will be able to receive a free book each month thanks to grant funding from the state which allows the school system to partner with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

The country singer launched the program in 1996 to benefit children in East Tennessee. Children receive age-appropriate books in the mail, a model which quickly became popular on a national scale.

Imagination Library already is funded by the West Virginia Legislature through the Department of Education and Arts in 37 counties.

Funding in Cabell County will come through the Department of Education as part of the Dropout Prevention Innovation Zone grant which includes other pieces under the United Way of the River Cities Education Matters program.

Imagination Library will receive $185,000 to cover costs associated with a kickoff event in February and book funding through the 2014-2015 school year.

In the grant application, officials reported about 5,200 children 5 and under living in Cabell County. And, they estimated about 65 percent would register. At a rate of $1.84 per book per child per month, it would cost about $74,300 for each 12-month cycle.

A big kickoff for Imagination Library will take place the first Saturday in February at Success by 6 Super Saturday.