Abbarno co-sponsors legislation to recognize Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as statewide program

Rep. Peter Abbarno has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would recognize country singer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as a statewide program in Washington state.

House Bill 2068 was introduced on Wednesday, Jan. 19, which was Parton’s 76th birthday. She began the Imagination Library program in 1995 to inspire a love of reading and provide free books to children ages birth to five-years old. The community connected gifting program mails quality, age-appropriate books to children’s homes at no cost to families. The bill would create a statewide program that would develop, promote, and sustain local Imagination Library programs across Washington state. The Imagination Library of Washington would be housed under the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Abbarno co-sponsored the legislation with Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver.

“I have participated in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library with my family and supported the program in my community and throughout southwest Washington for many years. It is an honor to join Representative Stonier and lead the effort to bring the Imagination Library to children and families throughout the state of Washington,” said Abbarno, R-Centralia. “Early education and kindergarten readiness is a priority of mine, and we know it is more effective when programs like this encourage families to read and spend quality time together.”

“It is a dream come true, and I am so grateful for the support of these state champions,” said Brooke Fisher-Clark, executive director of Washington Imagination Library Expansion, who is working to expand the program statewide. Fisher-Clark works for United Ways of the Pacific Northwest, which was awarded a contract with OSPI to expand coverage of the program and support local affiliates with 50% match funding to support enrollment growth statewide.

House Bill 2068 has been referred to the House Children, Youth and Families Committee.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov