Bayhealth Partners with Delaware Libraries to Support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

All babies born at Bayhealth to receive first Imagination Library book

WILMINGTON, Del.— Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Libraries announced on Wednesday that Bayhealth has partnered with Dover and Milford Public Libraries to ensure all babies born at Bayhealth Hospitals, as well as any eligible patients of Bayhealth Pediatrics in Milford, are registered for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

This partnership is in support of Governor John Carney’s statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through Delaware’s public libraries. Babies and children who are enrolled in the free Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program receive one new book in the mail each month from birth until their fifth birthday. This helps families create a personal library of up to 60 books at no cost to them, with the goal of establishing a child’s early reading experience and habits. Over 13,000 Delaware children from birth to age five receive a new book in the mail every month.

“One of the most important things we can do to improve childhood literacy is to give our children access to books, especially during this challenging time,” said Governor Carney. “The Imagination Library program is also an important component of the First Chance Delaware initiative for children, led by my wife Tracey, to promote learning readiness through literacy and parent-child engagement. Thank you to Bayhealth, Dover and Milford Public Libraries, and all of our partners for your work on this important effort.”

Bayhealth joins Beebe Healthcare, which was the first hospital to help expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. In October 2020, Beebe Healthcare partnered with Lewes Public Library to enroll babies born at their facilities in the program.

“Bayhealth is a great addition to our Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library partners,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “We hope all of our birth hospitals ultimately will be able to implement similar registration programs. Interactive early language exposure is so critical to brain development and to setting kids up for success.”

“Promoting early language skills improves overall literacy and builds strong reading habits. One of the most important things a parent can do to help their child succeed later in school–and in life–is to read to them. We are excited to join this important initiative and to offer this program to all Bayhealth babies as well as any patient of Bayhealth Pediatrics who is under age 5 and not already registered,” said Bayhealth Pediatrician Colleen Allorto, DO.

At Bayhealth Hospital, Kent and Sussex Campuses, new babies and their families are registered for the program and given their first Imagination Library book when they are discharged from the hospital. The first family to receive the book and be registered at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus was James Hamilton, son of Emilie and Robert Hamilton. The first family to receive the book and be registered at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus was Phoenix Rose Baisch, daughter of Arynn Jones and George Baisch. At Bayhealth Pediatrics, doctors and nurses educate parents of eligible children about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program and assist with getting them registered as needed.

“The Imagination Library is offered internationally through the Dollywood Foundation and is managed for Delaware by the Division of Libraries. It’s a natural fit for our libraries to partner with the community hospitals to facilitate Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Early literacy is one of our core missions,” says Dr. Annie Norman, Director of the Delaware Division of Libraries.

Information and registration are available online through Delaware Libraries. Books are selected by a national panel of early childhood literacy experts who review hundreds of children’s books each year and choose those that best fit the needs of children as they learn and grow.

“On a personal note, I loved reading to my children every night and want all families to have that opportunity to stimulate their child’s mind,” said Dr. Allorto. “Thank you to all the nurses, pediatricians, librarians, and the Dollywood Foundation for helping to bridge the gap on literary success.”

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Beebe Healthcare Partners with Lewes Public Library, Delaware Libraries to Support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

All babies born at Beebe Healthcare to receive first Imagination Library book

WILMINGTON, Del. – Beebe Healthcare and Lewes Public Library are partnering to ensure that all babies born at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes are registered for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  The families will be presented with the first Imagination Library book before discharge from the hospital.  The first family to receive the book at Beebe Healthcare is Spencer Robert Heslep (baby), Stephanie Clavijo (mom) and Robert Heslep (dad).

“Beebe Healthcare is proud to be the first healthcare system in the First State to provide the first book to babies born at our Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus,” said Tom Protack, President of Beebe Medical Foundation. “Studies show that early childhood literacy can be tied to better health and wellness later in life, and our donors want to support Beebe Healthcare in this effort.”

In August 2020, Governor John Carney announced the expansion statewide of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through Delaware’s public libraries.  Children whose parents enroll them with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library receive one new book in the mail each month from birth until the child’s fifth birthday, at no cost to the family, creating a personal library of as many as 60 books that can help form the foundation of a child’s early reading experience. Information and registration are available online through Delaware Libraries.  Books are selected by a national panel of early childhood literacy experts who review hundreds of children’s books each year and choose those that best fit the needs of children as they learn and grow.

“A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires and encourages creativity among children and adults alike,” said Governor Carney. “One of the most important things we can do to improve childhood literacy is to give our children access to books, especially during this challenging time. The Imagination Library program is also an important component of the First Chance Delaware initiative for children, led by First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. The mission of First Chance Delaware includes promoting learning readiness through literacy and parent-child engagement. Thank you to Beebe Healthcare, Lewes Public Library, and all of our partners for your work on this important effort to improve literacy in our state.”

This new hospital initiative is a team effort.  Imagination Library is offered internationally through the Dollywood Foundation and is managed for Delaware by the Division of Libraries. Beebe pediatricians and nurses advocate and facilitate registration for the program with new parents, and the Beebe Medical Foundation provides the first book and welcome bags, and Lewes Public Library registers the newborns in the Imagination Library database.

“Amazing things can happen when community partnerships come together. We’re so proud to offer this service to all of the Beebe Babies. Thank you to the donors who made this possible, along with the Beebe care team that will be delivering the first books, and to the library staff who will make sure these newborns receive the Imagination Library books each month for five years,” said David A. Tam, MD, MBA, FACHE, President & CEO, Beebe Healthcare.

“It’s a natural fit for libraries to facilitate Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. After all, early literacy is one of our core missions,” said Jennifer Noonan, Children’s Librarian at Lewes Public Library, who first initiated Imagination Library within the Cape Henlopen School District in 2018. “Getting books into the hands of children and their families is of crucial importance, and the earlier we can do it, the better.”

According to literacy statistics compiled by Begin to Read, two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Improving someone’s literacy reduces their chance of dropping out of school, of being incarcerated, of experiencing teenage pregnancy, and of living in poverty.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends caregivers read to their children from birth, because the more words babies hear, the better their literacy, vocabulary, and reading comprehension will be in the future. For public libraries across Delaware, the Imagination Library program serves as a springboard for children and parents to engage with their local libraries, participate in library programming and take advantage of the many resources libraries have to offer.

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Governor Carney Announces Expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Statewide

Free, high-quality children’s books now available to families across Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney today joined American icon Dolly Parton to announce the statewide expansion of her namesake Imagination Library book gifting program and to encourage parents of young children across Delaware to participate.

Watch announcement video on YouTube or Facebook.

“I am so excited to be working with Governor and First Lady Carney to bring my Imagination Library to children and families across Delaware!” said Ms. Parton. “It takes visionary leaders to make this possible, and I can’t thank them enough. It is such an important time to share the gift of books and reading with as many children as we can, and I know Delaware families will love receiving a specially selected book in the mail each month.”

Children whose parents enroll them with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through Delaware libraries receive one new book in the mail each month from birth until the child’s fifth birthday at no cost to the family, creating a personal library of as many as 60 books that can help form the foundation of a child’s early reading experience. Information and registration are available online through the Delaware Division of Libraries.

Books are selected by a national panel of early childhood literacy experts who review hundreds of children’s books each year and choose those that best fit the needs of children as they learn and grow.

“A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires and encourages creativity among children and adults alike,” said Governor Carney. “One of the most important things we can do to improve childhood literacy is to give our children access to books, especially during this challenging time. It’s a simple but powerful idea. That’s why Delaware is proud to partner with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to improve literacy in our state. I want to thank our state librarian, Annie Norman, and my wife, Tracey, for spearheading this important effort in Delaware.”

Governor Carney announced a pilot launch of the Imagination Library program in five Delaware school districts in his 2020 State of the State address. Beginning in February, the Division of Libraries partnered with 13 local public libraries to make the program available to families within the pilot districts. So far, more than 3,800 children have been enrolled in the program and received more than 16,000 books.

The Imagination Library program is also an important component of the First Chance Delaware initiative for children, led by First Lady Carney. The mission of First Chance Delaware includes promoting learning readiness through literacy and parent-child engagement.

“It’s a great privilege for me to serve as the honorary chair of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in Delaware,” said First Lady Carney. “The quantity and quality of early language experience, starting at birth, correlates to children’s academic success at ages nine and 10—the target of our state’s grade-level reading campaign—which then correlates to the likelihood of high-school graduation, which correlates to virtually every positive life outcome from then on. Expanding the Imagination Library program in Delaware is a great investment in our families and in our future.”

For public libraries across Delaware, the Imagination Library program will serve as a springboard for children and parents to engage with their local libraries, participate in library programming and take advantage of the many resources libraries have to offer.

“It’s never too early to start reading to children,” said Delaware State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. “Kids who read succeed! Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library helps develop the reading and library habit, a foundation for success throughout life.”

Parents who enrolled their children with the Imagination Library earlier this year through pilot school districts have already reported positive results, especially in light of the changes to daily lives and routines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The books we have received have helped a lot with his vocabulary and his ability to express himself,” said Lewes mom Ashely Durden about her son Quentin, who has been enrolled in the Imagination Library Program for the last two years. “Thank you for bringing reading to everyone in our district and our state; it’s a really great resource to get new books to children at a very young age.”

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Delaware Libraries Celebrate National Summer Learning Week

(Dover, DE ) Delaware First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, Delaware Libraries, and United Way of Delaware join the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) in launching National Summer Learning Week, a celebration dedicated to elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer; ensuring young people return to school ready to succeed.

 

Delawareans can embrace summer learning fun with a high-energy show for children and their families featuring Antonio Rocha, Storyteller, co-sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts on Wednesday, July 8 at 10 a.m. Also, on Thursday, July 9 at 6 p.m., families will have a chance to celebrate their love of reading with DJ Mike during Get Delaware Reading’s Family Breaks. Plus, many more programs will be offered online by Delaware libraries throughout the week and all summer long!  View the Calendar

“This summer, more than ever, it’s important to keep children engaged in learning in ways that are creative and fun,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “Our libraries and their partners—including families, the most important partners of all—are finding innovative ways to appeal to kids’ curiosity and energy this summer. A library card can help—a lot.”

At the onset of the pandemic, libraries launched online library card registration for eBook check out, and now Curbside Check Out is available for print books.

“For more than 40 years—for generations of Delawareans—Delaware libraries have been cultivating reading and learning passions, in multiple ways and in multiple formats,” said State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. “Whatever your interest, whatever your talent, the library supports it.”

“Summer learning is even more critical today than it was yesterday. Students are faced with a growing achievement gap due to COVID and the summer slide. Now is a great time for students and their families to continue to engage in activities that nurture a love of learning, especially reading,” said Schlonn Hawkins, director of Get Delaware Reading, presented by United Way of Delaware. “United Way is excited to be a part of programs that will help build the love of learning within our students as they prepare for the upcoming school year.”

For a full list of programs or to register for the Summer Library Reading Program visit delawarelibraries.org/summerreading. Delaware libraries encourage Delawareans of all ages to track their reading and learning during the summer and throughout life.  A variety of tips, tools, and techniques for tracking individual interests are available on the Unleash Inner Genius guide.

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Summer arts programs are supported by the Delaware Division of Libraries and, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division of Arts promotes Delaware arts events on DelawareScene.com. The Delaware Division of Libraries, a state agency dedicated to unleashing the potential in all Delawareans in partnership with Delaware Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, offers free access to the online catalog (delawarelibraries.org); Wi-Fi; computers/internet; eBooks; programs/workshops; community partnerships; and more.

Founded in 1946, United Way of Delaware (UWDE) works to advance the common good by focusing on three key areas: Early Education, College and Career Readiness and Financial Stability. UWDE is engaged in a long-term strategy to eliminate the root causes of Delaware’s most pressing social problems in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties. UWDE works collectively with businesses, government, social service agencies, academic groups, community organizations and concerned individuals to establish positive, long-lasting solutions for today and into the future. For more information or to support UWDE, visit www.uwde.org, follow us on Twitter @UnitedWayDE, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayofDelaware, or call  (302) 573-3717.

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works in summer learning, develops and delivers capacity-building offerings and convenes and empowers key actors to embrace summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. For more information, visit www.summerlearning.org.


Delaware Libraries Launch 2020 Summer Reading Program

(Dover, DE) Delaware’s First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney will host a virtual kick-off of the 2020 statewide Summer Library Reading Program, Imagine Your Story, on Wednesday, June 17 at 10 a.m. with State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. The launch is co-sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts and will feature a virtual performance by Turtle Dance Music with Matt Mazar.

“Promoting foundational language skills is a critical part of giving all of Delaware’s children a ‘first chance’ to succeed,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney, who convenes the  First Chance Delaware initiative and serves as honorary chair of the Delaware Library Card Campaign and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library pilot program. “The library habit supports educational success and also supports strong families, with two-generation programs and access to a range of services. I’m very proud of my Delaware library card, because of what it does for me and what it represents for our community.”

The virtual kick-off can be accessed at the Delaware Libraries website, along with details about the program and registration.

Delaware libraries are noted for hosting the longest running statewide public library summer reading program in the nation. Now in its 42nd year, the annual Summer Library Reading Program provides early literacy programs to help children build and develop reading and language skills; teen programs that motivate teens to read and discuss literature; and programs that encourage adults to experience the joy of reading.

“Librarians help to generate a passion for reading and learning,” said Governor John Carney. “A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires, encourages creativity and prevents the summer slide.”

“For more than 40 years — for generations of Delawareans — Delaware libraries have been cultivating reading and learning passions,” said State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. “Whatever your interest, whatever your talent, the library supports it.”

Young “pre-readers” (children who can’t yet read) can get credit for books that are read to them. Throughout the summer, online this year, libraries provide a variety of fun and educational arts, cultural, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs to encourage reading and spark curiosity.

Registration for the Summer Library Reading Program at all public libraries is free online. Incentive badges are awarded based on reading and activity milestones.  Delaware libraries encourage Delawareans of all ages to track their reading and learning during the summer and throughout life.  A variety of tips, tools, and techniques for tracking individual interests are available on the Unleash Inner Genius guide.

Visit the Summer Library Reading Program for the schedule of online events throughout the summer. The Performing Arts component of the program, including Turtle Dance Music, is sponsored in partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts.

About:

Summer arts programs are supported by the Delaware Division of Libraries and, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division of Arts promotes Delaware arts events on DelawareScene.com

The Delaware Division of Libraries, a state agency dedicated to unleashing the potential in all Delawareans in partnership with Delaware Libraries and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, offers free access to the online catalog (delawarelibraries.org); Wi-Fi; computers/internet; eBooks; programs/workshops; community partnerships; and more.

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