The Charlotte County Imagination Library is an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which originated in Sevierville, Tennessee in 1996. The Imagination Library has grown to serve over 1.5 million children across the United States as well as Canada and the United Kingdom.
The Charlotte County Imagination Library was launched in 2011 by local salon business owner Shawn Smith Gilstad of Hair By Shawn & Co. Growing up in Tennessee Shawn had seen firsthand what a difference the gift of literacy could mean for the children of a community. Shawn’s vision of bringing the gift of literacy to Charlotte County children required that he partner with an established 501(c)3 Non-Profit. Shawn joined forces with Sherrie Moody, Executive Director of the Charlotte Players, the one of the oldest 501(c)3 in Charlotte County. A great partnership was formed.
Our program is run by local educators, business owners and community supporters and is funded by local business sponsors and community donations.
Our purpose is to promote early childhood development, encourage parent-child interaction, enhance children’s literacy and better prepare youngsters for kindergarten.
We welcome all children under the age of five to enroll in this program. There is no better time to start reading to a child than now. The Charlotte County Imagination Library is excited to be able to offer this service to the children and parents of our community!
Actively Enrolled: 2,242 Pre-school Children
Graduates of CCIL: 2,724 Pre-school Children in Charlotte County
Total number of Children Served to Date (since March of 2012): 4,966
Books Mailed since 3/2012: 124,289 at a cost of $261,000
GOAL: Serve ALL Charlotte County Preschoolers; Currently we estimate that we’re serving about 45%.