Kiwanis Club teams with Dolly Parton program to give free books to kids

Any time is a great time to cozy up with a good book, and kids 5 and younger in Wilsonville have plenty of opportunities to do so thanks to the Wilsonville Kiwanis Club’s affiliation with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Imagination Library members receive an age-appropriate book via mail each month — for free.

On Feb. 10, Wilsonville Kiwanis Club, along with a group of donors and guests, celebrated the second anniversary of Wilsonville’s affiliation with the group.

The Wilsonville Kiwanis Club’s motto is: “We make the world better for kids.” The Dolly Parton Imagination Library offered a ready-made opportunity to promote early literacy and to encourage parents to read to their children. Research shows reading to be the single most important activity parents can do to prepare children for academic success.

by: FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Pat Duke and Jan Rippey are working together to make sure Wilsonville children have books to read.For the Kiwanis Club, becoming an Imagination Library affiliate required a long-term financial and managerial commitment. The club worked to lay a solid foundation, both financially and organizationally, so the opportunity could be an ongoing venture.

At the anniversary party, the most generous donors to Wilsonville DPIL were thanked and recognized. They included Joseph Restic of Wilsonville Orthodontics, Wilsonville Public Library Foundation and Xerox. Other donors include Wilsonville Friends of the Library, Pam and Robert Craft, Candace and Marshall Fant, Grace Chapel, Tammy and Jay Puppo, Jan and Tim Rippey and Linda and Marvin Seppala. Many others have donated anonymously and in smaller amounts.

After two years of promoting Imagination Library, almost 50 percent of Wilsonville children under 5 in Wilsonville participate. That’s a greater percentage than the nationwide two-year average enrollment.

“We have provided over 10,000 new books to children in Wilsonville in two years,” said Jan Rippey, Wilsonville Imagination Library director and Kiwanis Club member. “After all those deliveries, we have only fielded two complaints, and one was from a parent who seriously panned, ‘All my son wants me to do is read the book over and over to him each time a new book arrives in the mail.’”

“We’ll take complaints like that all day long,” Wilsonville Public Library Director and Kiwanis Club Vice President Pat Duke said.

If you would like to enroll your child or support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Wilsonville, visit or call Duke at 503- 682-2744.

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