Don't miss out on free book program offered for kids

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program for kids up to age five is  coming to Jackson County and that’s great news for the community!

A story on page one today tells all about it.

Research after research shows that reading regularly with children, beginning in infancy, can produce a significant growth in their I.Q. that will benefit them throughout their life.  

In Jackson County, about 906 children between the ages of newborn to age five are currently eligible to be signed up for the free book program. Nationally, an average of about 60 percent of the eligible children in participating counties get signed up but it is hoped that our county will sign up many more.

Tell your family. Tell your friends. This is not a program just for families struggling financially. It is a great program for all families with young children. I have seen and read some of the books offered in the program and they are some of the best children’s books you’ll find anywhere.

Starting March 1, says Vern Andrews of Holton, the primary organizer for the program, Jackson County parents of children birth through age five will be able to go online and sign up their child for the free book program.

“It’s really simple. Just go to and look for Getting Started,” Andrews said.  “It will ask for your child’s name, address and age as well as the parent’s name and email address.”

After registration, a local steering committee will be notified of a new child and will validate that the address is in Jackson County.

Then in about six weeks, he said, the child will start receiving a book in the mail every month.  Books will continue until the child’s fifth birthday.

“A child registered in the program from birth to age five will have a 60-book library by the time they start school,’’ Andrews said.

Charitable Vending, a non-profit venture, was started by Andrews in May of 2016 and after realizing the venture could accomplish so much, kettle corn equipment was added, volunteers were solicited and fund-raising to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Jackson County began, Andrews said. 

 “I was really surprised that within six months we could raise $12,500 to start the program,” Andrews said. “Early childhood literacy is so important. Children need to love reading at an early age.’’Donations can be made online at  Be sure to specify Jackson County, Kansas as the local affiliate. The cost for the program per child is $25 per year, Andrews said. The program is expected to cost about $12,500 per year after it is fully implemented.

Andrews said local families will also have the opportunity to sign up their kids for the reading program at various community activities and events in the upcoming months. Just look for the Charitable Vending trailer.

For more information, contact Andrews at

Sharing with children the love of reading, starting at infancy, may seem like a small thing in the everyday struggle of caring for children, but it’s worth it. 

And after you read to your kids and/or grandkids, you both just might get some nice quiet time and a nap out of the deal!

Hurry and get your young children signed up as soon as you can.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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