Abbarno Lauds Passage of Statewide Imagination Library Legislation


Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, on Monday lauded the passage of his bill — co-sponsored by Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver — recognizing Dolly Parton's Imagination Library as a statewide Washington program.

The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, March 1, and is headed to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for signing.

Through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, kids between the ages of birth and 5 years old are given the opportunity to sign up for one free book a month to be mailed to their homes.

Washington-United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will provide local program affiliates who will run the program in their counties a 50% funding match to support and assist in growing enrollments.

The program is already up and running in Lewis County. 

“This is a really great program to encourage children to read and learn more about the world around them,” Abbarno said in a news release. “I have been reading to my children since they were very young. It's a wonderful experience for a parent to have with their children. This program opens an entire new resource of books to these families so they can create closer bonds through reading.”

Abbarno has two elementary school-aged children who have participated in the Imagination Library in Lewis County, which was supported by local Rotary clubs and the United Way of Lewis County (UWLC) when the program was officially brought to the region.

"I got involved supporting, promoting, and helping the Imagination Library get off the ground in my community,” Abbarno added. “For a nominal donation, you can put age-appropriate books in the hands of children from the age of zero to five. Reading is good for kindergarten readiness and increases cognitive, learning and language skills. The Imagination Library books contain lots of varied age-appropriate subject matter, which helps to prepare children for school. It's been a phenomenal success in Lewis County, and I'm excited that this legislation will soon expand the program so we can share it with children across the state."

Abbarno thanked Stonier and the UWLC for their help in the initiative.