Prescott Area Imagination Libr





History Logs

Project Description

Country: USA

Location: Prescott, AZ

Total Budget: $4,000

Area of Focus: Basic education and literacy

Activity Type: Education: Literacy

Summary: Provide books for children ages 0-5 that live in the Prescott Area

This is a collaborative, ongoing project sponsored by the three Rotary Clubs in Prescott, Arizona. This grant application is from the Rotary Club of Prescott Frontier. The other participating clubs, the Rotary Club of Prescott & the Rotary Club of Prescott Sunup. All are submitting separate grant applications to fund the Prescott Area Imagination Library (PAIL) project. Grant funding and club matches will be used to purchase books through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program and for mailing the books directly to the homes of children ages 0 to 5 who have been registered for the program.

The Prescott Area Imagination Library (PAIL) is focused on improving early childhood literacy skills by promoting and funding Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for all qualified children living in the Prescott area of Arizona. This program will supplement and complement the several existing literacy programs supported by the Prescott clubs. Language and literacy skills of many children living in the Prescott area are significantly behind children from other states. Only 56% of children can pass the 3rd grade state literacy test (AZMerit). Area poverty levels are high with with most schools having high percentages of students qualifying for free or reduced priced lunch. Arizona ranks 48th in the country for early childhood education and high-quality childcare for working parents is costly and in short supply.

Brain research tells us that 90% of the brain's architecture is established by 5 years of age. Basic neural pathways develop for language and early literacy skills in the first three years. The achievement gap is measurable at 18 months of age and significant by age 3 years. Studies also show that children from low income homes demonstrate delays in the development of language due to the lack of verbal language used in the home. These are the same children most likely to struggle in school, need remedial help and then drop out of high school. Books in the home and early exposure to positive interactive talking, singing and reading starting in infancy makes a lifelong impact on learning. Every dollar invested in early childhood education, which allows children higher success rates in school and beyond, saves taxpayers up to $13 in future costs for remedial and special education and financial support of families without means.

Dolly Parton's renowned "Imagination Library" is a book program for children from birth to age five that develops language and communication skills and inspires a love and appreciation of books and reading. Kids receive a carefully selected new book in the mail every month with their name on it. Testimonials from parents and program administrators indicate that they love getting mail and beg their parents to read to them. In addition, busy parents have easy access to high quality books that they may not be able to afford or think to read, and have access to a plan that is provided by the Imagination Library program for using the books with their children. The program increases the time parents spend reading with their children and significantly improves kindergarten readiness for enrolled children. Recent studies show improved early literacy skills. Books are selected by developmental specialists to be stimulating, age-appropriate with positive themes that promote self-esteem, confidence and regard for diversity. Tips (the lesson plan) for parents are on the back flap of the books.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) Foundation provides the Book Order System, publishes and mails the books. Local sponsors (Friends of the Prescott Library, Read On Prescott, & Rotary volunteers) enroll children, manage the Book Order System, promote the program, and raise funds for books and postage. Parents pay nothing. Even though the program targets low income and potentially low performing children, all children age "0" to "5" and their families may enroll in the program. The inclusiveness and popularity of this "children's book club" removes the stigma associated with targeting only underachieving or low-income children.

The three Rotary Clubs in Prescott, through the Rotary District Grant program and their respective club foundations, will begin funding the Prescott Area Imagination Library (PAIL) for children living in the Prescott area in 2019 with and anticipated start date in August of this year with the beginning of the new school year. In May-June 2019, all three Rotary Clubs in the Prescott area agreed to collaborate in bringing the PAIL program to Prescott first but with the view to quickly expand the program to all children 0-5 years living in the Quad City area (Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, and most of the unincoporated sections of Yavapai County). The Friends of the Prescott Public Library intend to establish a separate account within their organization for PAIL, one that could eventually receive donations from other organizations and individuals in the Quad-City area.

As soon as is practicable, a new non-profit will be formed called The Prescott Area Imagination Library (PAIL) with bylaws calling for representation on the board by active Rotarians representing all participating clubs, as well as representation from all the various area stakeholders. April 2019, Friends of the Prescott Public Library initiated the process agreed to become the local affiliate within the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program and as such will administer the program.

Our outreach/promotional efforts will include: Use of social media to advertise the program for all of the partner organizations; A landing page on the Prescott Public Library site that provides information about the program and links to PAIL/DPIL online registration; Tabling presence at local events that attract families; Specific mention of the program at outreach events for all of the above organizations; Prescott Public Library youth librarians to promote at schools and preschools, as well as literacy night outreach events, Raising a Reader program, and at library story times; Read On Prescott Steering Committee members have also committed to contacting area organizations to ensure they are aware of the program and request that they help promote registration; WIC program; Arizona Children's Association; Yavapai Regional Medical Center; Ponderosa Pediatrics; & Yavapai County Health Department.

In Fall/September, 2019, PAIL will begin enrolling newborns at the birth hospital, the Yavapai Regional Medical Center, to reach more children in infancy. Our registration efforts will be broad, harnessing the network of early childhood professionals in the area, the Read On Prescott Steering Committee, Prescott Public Library, Friends of Prescott Public Library, Prescott Unified School District, First Things First Yavapai County, Yavapai County Educational Service Agency, as well as early childhood educators at local colleges.

Goals for the PAIL are to: 1. Assure children 0-5 yr. have access to high quality books in their home. 2. Increase parental understanding that talking and reading with their infants, toddlers and preschoolers every day is critical for healthy brain development and long-term learning. 3. Collaborate with community partners who work directly with parents who need coaching to improve their skills. Partners include the Read On Prescott Steering Committee, Prescott Public Library & Friends of Prescott Public Library, Prescott Unified School District, First Things First Yavapai County, Yavapai County Educational Service Agency, as well as early childhood educators at local colleges. PAIL will be tracking 3rd grade AZMerit Reading scores and screening test scores at kindergarten entry to measure progress.

Initial and ongoing funding for books and postage will come from each Rotary Club's Foundation contribution matched by Rotary District Grant funds, along with any additional support from other charitable foundations. The three Rotary Clubs of Prescott have an initial goal of raising $12,000 through the D-5495 District Grant process by each pledging $2,000 to be matched 1 to 1 by District Designated Funds (DDF). The PAIL program will be completely volunteer run and will have no facility overhead

Project Contact Person

District: 5495

Rotary Club of: Prescott-Frontier

Primary Contact: Noel DeSousa

Email: noel.j.desousa@gmail.com

Project Status

This project is "Paid". This means that the funds from the district have been issued. This project is now being ready for implementation. When this is done, a report needs to be uploaded on the project page and the "Reported" button needs to be clicked, then the status of the project will be changed to "Reported".

Project listed for the 2019-20 Rotary Year.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Prescott-Frontier (5495)









Project Supporting Documents

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History Log Entries


by Noel DeSousa

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Jim Bissonett

System Entry: Project sent for club signatures.


by Noel DeSousa

System Entry: Project signed by Noel DeSousa.


by Jim Bissonett

System Entry: Project approved by the District Approval Committee.


by Jim Bissonett

Noel, we have a problem with this DG. Looks like you entered the year 2018-19 instead of 2019-20. I am going to have delete this DG and have you re-enter everything in a new application. Please copy all that you entered for the description, and let me know when I can delete. Thanks for doing this, and call me if you need help.


by Jim Bissonett

System Entry: Check for DDF payment issued by Foundation Treasurer.

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