Current Imagination Library of Franklin County Board Members: Front row (L to R) – Melody Gault, Patti Wilhelm, Don Jobe, Billie Jean Jobe: Back row (L to R) – Melinda Brown, Rachel McGee, Nancy Hawkins, Nancy Bodnar, David Willhelm, Linda Rosenberger.
Background of Imagination Library of Franklin County
The initiation of the Imagination Library of Franklin County (ILFC) took place took place on Thursday, August 30, 2007 in the conference room of the Franklin County Community Foundation building located at 527 Main Street, Brookville. Charter members of the Board of Directors consisted of Joy Combs, Melinda Brown, Adele Fritz, Melody Gault, Don Jobe, Jim Lierl, Alta Profitt, Charles Ratz and Debbie Schaefer. Nancy Hawkins was appointed data base coordinator with the task of updating registered children in the Imagination Library database.
It was determined that the office of ILFC would be at the Brookville Public Library located at 919 Main Street, Brookville. The meeting date was set for the second Friday of each month at 8:45 a.m. Officers elected were Don Jobe, President, Joy Combs-First Vice President, Melinda Brown- Second Vice President, Melody Gault- Secretary, and Adele Fritz- treasurer
In order to have staggered terms, classes were established. Class one consisting of Joy Combs, Melinda Brown and Jim Lierl would be for a two year period. Class two, consisting of Adele Fritz, Alta Profitt, and Debbie Schaefer would be for a four year period. Class three consisting of Melody Gault, Don Jobe and Charles Ratz would be for a six year period. Thereafter Directors of the Board would be elected for a two year term.
The purposes of ILFC are to serve every preschool child in Franklin County with their own library of books that would encourage a love of reading and learning. Also to provide each month, from the day the child is born until his/her 5th birthday, a book that arrives in the mail addressed to the child. And to provide books that are age appropriate to the development of such positive themes as self-esteem and confidence, regard for diversity and appreciation of art.
The emphasis of the program is to develop early childhood reading literacy. Research indicates that activities such as parent / guardians reading regularly with their child, beginning in infancy, can produce a significant growth in IQ. No system of education alone can ever provide such a dramatic effect. Parents/guardians are the first and most important teacher their child will ever have.
The Imagination Library program was originally launched in 1996 for preschoolers in Sevier County, Tennessee by Dolly Parton as a gift of encouragement for the children of Sevier County. In 1999 the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program was extended to communities nationally and internationally. Thus, Franklin County has initiated the program for its children in cooperation with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Such cooperation will enable our children to receive books from birth to their fifth birthday. The cost to provide these books for each child is approximately $30 each year.
To provide these books through the Dolly Parton Foundation, funds were raised. This was done by establishing pace setters that provided monies to jump start the program. The pace setters were the Franklin County High School BOOK Club and The Brookville Foundation. Also, pledges of one to five years of $30 each year were made by community patrons.
The establishment of the ILFC is an illustration of the passion the community has for helping others. Current Board members are: Melinda Brown, Nancy Bodnar, Melody Gault, Nancy Hawkins, Don Jobe, Patti Wilhelm, Linda Rosenberger, Rachel McGee, and David Willhelm.
*Article written and provided by Don Jobe.