By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer, Photographer
In 1995, Dolly Parton, an East Tennessee native, launched Dolly Patrons Imagination Library in an effort to provide high-quality, age appropriate books to children all across the region. Johnson County has been benefiting from the program for many years and recently an event was held to help celebrate the 10th birthday of the Imagination Library (in Johnson County) and to raise funds for this fantastic program.
Dolly Parton was one of twelve children. She grew up in a poverty stricken home in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. Regardless of the challenges poverty brings, music was a constant source of happiness in her family and she loved to listen to her mother sing. Though all the odds were stacked against her success, Dolly turned her love of music into a fantastic career and remains one of the most respected country musicians of all time. The respect is earned not only through her musical pursuits but also through her philanthropy. It seems Dolly never forgot where she came from or the struggles she endured to get to where she is and she dedicates much time, energy, and money into helping promote and sculpt positive futures for children all across Eastern Tennessee.
The Johnson County Chapter of the Imagination Library held the second annual Imagination Library carnival as well as an event with beloved childrens author Bruce Lansky at Heritage Hall Theatre on Tuesday, August 25.
Bruce Lansky kicked off the event by entertaining elementary-age children from throughout Johnson County. Lansky also graciously appeared at the carnival signing his books and speaking with fans. Lansky is both a poet and a master of limericks. Children find Lanskys books hilarious and parents appreciate them for their educational value, which is limitless. Lanksy was gracious as he greeted his fans and his presence was a wonderful addition to the event.
The carnival offered several free activities as well as many low cost activities. From face painting, to bouncy houses, to a cookie decorating station and so much more, the carnival was a childhood wonderland. The event was very well attended and judging by the smiles on the faces of all the children in attendance it was a huge success.
The benefits of reading to children and encouraging a love of reading are limitless.
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