MCF Seeks Donors to Help Boost Early Educational Development for Local Children


Marietta, OH – From birth to five years old, children go through important stages of early childhood development. Since 2017, Marietta Community Foundation has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to enhance these stages of development for over 65 local children. With a growing waiting list of potential registrants, the Foundation is reaching out to local donors to sponsor children who could greatly benefit from this service.

“Education is one of the many service areas we focus on in Washington County,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of Marietta Community Foundation. “We desire to help others of every age continue to learn and develop their skills… this program is just one example of how we are accomplishing that goal.”

Children who register through the Foundation receive a free book sent to them from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the mail each month. The book service program began in 1995 but soon expanded to a global entity in the following years.

In 2017, with support from The Owen Family Memorial Fund, the Foundation entered into an affiliation with the book service to increase early educational development for local children. Currently, the Foundation is only able to register 52 children. With 19 children on the waiting list, the Foundation is seeking partners to help support any local child interested in receiving these monthly educational tools.

“It is truly delightful to receive a book every month from The Dolly Parton Imagination Program,” said a mother whose children participate in the program. “It is such a joy to curl up with my children right before bed and read them these books and talk about the different cultures and languages that these books teach and illustrate.”

Children can be registered from ages birth to five years old with an annual registration fee of 25$. The Foundation is hoping donors would pledge a gift of 125$ to cover all five years of eligibility for each individual child.

“Thanks to all that make this program possible. Can’t wait to see what adventure the next book brings to our family,” said the mother of the participants.

Inquiries and donations to fund this book giving program, or other programs that directly benefit local children and youth, may be made to the Foundation by contacting Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or