Dolly Parton Helps Muskingum County Children

2022.07.11 Imagination Library 6 7 11

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The Muskingum County Literacy Council has done a lot to improve and increase literacy as well as helping preschoolers get a jump on their academic endeavors.

Muskingum County Literacy Council Treasurer Becky Hill discussed how the organization has made an impact on the community and how they are making efforts to continue that progress. 

“The Literacy Council was able to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Muskingum County thanks to Fran DeWine and her efforts to get Governor DeWine to bring a supporting grant, a 50 percent matching grant, so we could actually afford the program,” Hill said. “We started in 2020 and since then we have enrolled 61 percent of our area preschoolers. It’s any child from birth to the age of 5 and it brings a book to their house every month.”

Muskingum County is one of three counties in Ohio that has surpassed 60 percent enrollment into the free program that mails an age-appropriate book to your house every month.

Hill remarked that the program engages the children in reading and that simple act of reading to a child everyday can better prepare them to stay on task from Kindergarten through graduation.

“The brain develops at the fastest rate ever from birth to 3-years-old. The neurons are connecting, language skills are developed, so getting a book in front of a child, reading to them aloud, helps them develop language skills, helps connect those brain neurons and helps that development start at the most critical point in their development,” Hill said.

The Imagination Library comes with a 50 percent grant but the program still costs the Literacy Council $3,200 every month and as participation increases, so does the cost. 

A fundraising luncheon will be held by Fran DeWine Tuesday, August 9, at the Archie Griffin Ballroom in Columbus. The luncheon will feature Dolly Parton and two tickets for the event will be available for auction at

For more information about donating to the Literacy Council you can contact Hill at (740) 453-5192

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