HMI champions Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Cameron County, PA

National programs rarely find their way to our secure little valley in Cameron County Pennsylvania.  For instance, when a parent clicks to find availability for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, for zip code 15834, it comes back with a, “sorry, this program is not available in your area”.  It happens in most of central Pennsylvania counties.

That is exactly what happened to Cathy Swarmer after her Dad sent her a note about the Imagination Library and said that she should sign her granddaughter up for the program.  That “sorry” message didn’t sit well with her because it happens so often.

Why is it that the small counties, who need it most, don’t have the advantage of such worthwhile programs?  So, she went to work to research how to make this happen for Cameron County.

A nonprofit organization had to step up to the plate to partner with the DPIL and that was one of the main reasons she had started HMI in the first place.

HMI has the nonprofit status, but very little money available to make sure that the program would be successful.  One email to the Cameron County Commissioners rectified that problem.  The Commissioners unanimously and enthusiastically voted to give the one time gift of $1,300 to HMI so that the Imagination Library can come to the babies in Cameron County for 2021.  The cost of the program is about $25.00 per child, per year.

Because of the Commissioners grant, HMI has become an Imagination Library “Champion” in Cameron County.  What do you think about that?

Barbara Williams Ryan will spearhead the collection of registrations and if you know of a child ages birth to 5, who lives in Hometown 15834 or Hometown 15832 or Hometown 15861, let their parents know that they are eligible for a free book each month, from Dolly Parton’s Foundation.  No income restrictions and no strings attached.  Click here to pre-register. 


The Dolly Parton Imagination Library gives a book a month, to every child ages birth to five years old, anywhere in the world where there is a champion nonprofit, to facilitate the funding.

The books arrive in the mail each month, with the child’s name on it to help them know what a SPECIAL gift books and reading are.  This is an international program, started in 1995 by Dolly Parton, in honor of her father who worked very hard in his life but was not able to read.

It is with great excitement that Hometown Mentors, Inc. announces this affiliation and, with the help of the Cameron County Commissioners, the first year of funding is secure and Cameron County babies will be the beneficiary, starting April, 2021.

Remember, the child must live in the following Zip codes:  15834, 15861 and 15832.  They must be age zero to their 5th birthday in order to register for this program.  You can click here to add your baby’s information to the registration.

With The Dollywood Foundation handling the operations of the program, once funding is secured with a potential affiliate, they can start registering children right away. If your child qualifies, please register with this online form.  Please do so with the understanding that it will be at least 6 – 8 weeks before the books start to arrive.

If you know someone with kids under 5, SHARE this post with them! 🦋

HMI is so happy to be of service to our wonderful Hometown Mentors in Cameron County.

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