The Literacy Star

by Kelly

What’s not to love about Dolly? As a musician, Dolly Parton is the most honored female country singer-songwriter of all time, with 44 Top 10 country albums and 26 number one singles. Being a successful musician has brought the songstress years of success, but, music is not the only thing that Dolly Parton gives to the world.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book gifting program started by the musician in 1995, mails high-quality books to children ages birth to five to anyone who registers, no matter their income. To date, Dolly’s Imagination Library has put over 150 million books into the hands of emerging readers.

Dolly’s Imagination Library was inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, prompting this country queen to create this legacy in his honor, striving to foster a love for reading in young ones around the world. You can visit the website imaginationlibrary.com to register your young reader online, or check with us (or your local library) for a mail-in form. According to the website, once you register your child, it may take six to nine weeks before the books arrive. Once your first order arrives, you will receive your books regularly each month.

The Ionia County Intermediate School District has been encouraging local families to participate in this free book-gifting program. For several years now, the Ionia County ISD sponsors an annual quilt show and sale to help support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ionia County. Last year alone, 2780 children from the county received free books.

The quilts sold are handcrafted by local artisans and based on a literary theme. This year, the theme Down on the Farm produced 51 quilts that are up for sale. The library has on display quilt number 49 (made by Laura Heffron) that can be previewed for those interested. With colorful barns and adorable barnyard animals, each quilt offers a unique perspective of the shared theme by the artists who designed them.

The quilt show and sale for 2021 will be held on Saturday, May 22 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Ionia County Intermediate School District building located at 2191 Harwood Road, Ionia. Quilts can be viewed online at www.ioniaisd.org and the proceeds from all sales are guaranteed to give the gift of reading.

Reading and Writing

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Like peanut butter and jelly, birds of a feather, and peas in a pod, you can’t have one without the other. Without authors, there wouldn’t be books, and that’s why we here at the Alvah N. Belding Library encourage everyone to get out the pens and paper and get to work!

Writing is for all ages, and, is a task, talent, or hobby that you can carry with you through life.

If the thought of writing intimidates you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Between grammar rules, spelling, and punctuation, there’s a lot to take in. Here are some no-fear tips for getting started in writing.

  • Start small. Write a paragraph or two about something you love or love to do. Writing a small piece about something you are passionate about is a great way to get started.
  • Journal it. Start a daily journal and write about the ins and outs of everyday life, your dream vacation, or where you see yourself in ten years.  Practicing your writing daily is a great way to form a lasting habit.
  • Dear diary. Brush up on writing dialogue by talking in a diary. Pretend you are writing a conversation to yourself or a family member or friend. Make it as real or fictional as you choose to trick anyone who might snoop!
  • Write first, then edit. Just go with the flow when you are writing and try not to think about punctuation, spelling, or grammar. That can come later during your editing process.
  • Have fun. Writing should be fun, not a chore. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the process, put down your pencil and try again another time.

Want to try your hand at writing for a chance to win a prize? Youth in grades 3-12 can join our Fall Free-Write writing contest. Fiction entries may be written about any topic of your choice, and Non-fiction stories should be in the form of a personal narrative. Entries should be kept under 5,000 words. We will choose one winner from each division (Elementary, Middle, High School). Entries can be emailed to belys@llcoop.org and must be received by November 30, 2020.