Gift the Gift of Early Literacy

December 18, 2017

LAKE COUNTY, CALIF (December 11, 2017) – The Lake County Office of Education (LCOE) encourages you to think of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in your gift-giving plans this holiday season. Register those important children in your life at

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, age-appropriate, high-quality books to children from birth until their fifth birthday, no matter their family’s income.

Five years ago, in 2012, in an effort to improve early literacy for Lake County’s children and help prepare them for kindergarten, the Lake County Office of Education began participating in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Lake County Superintendent f Schools Brock Falkenberg says, “Research shows that when children are read to at an early age, there is a positive parent/child connection, and it is also associated with higher measures of early language and math development.”

Although the books from Imagination Library are free for the children, there is an associated cost to the Lake County Office of Education of $25 per child, per year. With 1,850 Lake County children registered, this is an annual cost of over $45,000. Administered by LCOE, this program is funded by donations from local businesses, community organizations and individuals.

Charlotte Griswold of Clearlake, a former teacher from Konocti Unified School District, has been providing an annual donation to cover the cost of one (1) year’s worth of books for every child born at of Adventist Health Clearlake (AHC). This year, Griswold has increased her donation to cover a full two (2) years of books for every child born at AHC.

In addition, Sutter Lakeside Hospital (SLH) provides a donation that covers the cost of one (1) year for every child born at their Lakeport facility. And the Lake County Wine Alliance recently provided a donation from their 2017 Lake County Wine Auction proceeds, which will cover the cost of one year’s worth of books for 100 Lake County children, or the equivalent of 1,250 books.

 First 5 Lake County is the major donor to LCOE for the Imagination Library program. They cover the costs of a full five (5) years for any Lake County child not born at either Sutter Lakeside Hospital or Adventist Health Clearlake, and the remaining years not covered by SLA or AHC, through Griswold’s donation.

Almost half of Lake County’s children ages newborn to 5, are registered to receive Imagination Library books. “Our goal is to increase that number to 65%.” says Carly Swatosh, Education Specialist at LCOE. Swatosh is responsible for administering the program for LCOE.

Falkenberg adds, “We appreciate the contributions of our local business and community organizations, and particularly of Charlotte, for their commitment to education in Lake County.”

More information about Imagination Library can be found at

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