Fair-goers look over a free book at the Dolly Parton Imagination Library booth at Socorro County Fair.
Courtesy photo

The Socorro Rotary Club started a Dolly Parton Imagination Library program in Socorro County under the presidency of Dan Klinglesmith in 2017.

His passion was to get free books in the hands of all the eligible children in the county.

Dolly Parton created the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in 1995. She said that her “daddy” was the smartest man she knew, but not being able to read probably kept him from following his dreams. So, she wanted to help young children learn to read and succeed in life by providing them with free books.

The pandemic impacted the club’s task of reaching out. Finally, after two years of pandemic, the Socorro Rotary Club was able to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library out again to enroll kids in the program.

At the Socorro County Fair, the Rotary Club enrolled 67 kids in the program; this means 227 kids are provided books through the program Socorro County. Since the club started the program, 326 kids have graduated.

Their last book?  “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come.”

The Socorro Rotary Club, through its foundation, makes this program available in all of Socorro County. The program is covered by two grants and local donations.

The club’s goal is to reach and enroll every child from birth to 5 years of age in Socorro County. If you live in Socorro County and have a child who is between 0-5 years old, contact us at:  Socorro Rotary Foundation, PO Box 972, Socorro, NM 87801 and ask for an application, or go to imaginationlibrary.com/usa/affiliate/NMSOCORRO.  You can register there, too.

If you’d like to donate to the program, make your check out to the Socorro Rotary Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. You’ll receive a letter from us for tax purposes.

The Rotary Club will be at Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, including SocorroFest, if you’d like to get information or enroll your child.

Jon Morrison, Socorro Rotary Club