Jeff Barron Lancaster Eagle-Gazette
LANCASTER – Katelynn and Kalli Santora eagerly await the mail delivery one day each month when they receive a free book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Katelynn, 5, and Kalli, 3, are two of the hundreds of children locally who are part of country star Dolly Parton’s reading program.
Children from birth to 5 are eligible for one free book per month regardless of income. Parton’s foundation selects the age-appropriate book titles it sends out.
United Way of Fairfield County community impact director Andrea Spires said there are more than 3,700 local children enrolled in the reading program now. She said that represents about 41% of eligible children and that the United Way wants to reach 50%. Spires said there are about 9,000 children in the county in the 0 to 5 age group.
The United Way helps find funding for the program since it is free to families. The state also pitches in financial help.
But Katelynn and Kalli probably don’t care much about how the program is financed. They just like their books.
“I like them because they have adventures,” Katelynn said.
She said her favorite title is “Violet the Pilot.”
Kalli said her favorite is “Hair Love.”
“Because I read it all the time,” she said.
The Santora children have been receiving the books for about three years. Their mother, Kara Santora, said the family appreciates the program.
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