As a local affiliate to the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Marietta Community Foundation has a vision of improving early childhood developmental milestones across Washington County.

For the past several months, the Foundation’s staff has been traveling to various social groups in the area to share their mission and garner support.

On Friday, October 4th, the Foundation presented this program to the Rotary Club of Marietta – Morning. The presentation included how the Foundation came to be the Washington County affiliate of the Imagination Library, research that shows exposure to books at a young age is instrumental in early childhood development, and current updates that will help the Foundation in their mission.

According to a study cited in the presentation, the greatest way to improve reading achievement in children is to give them access to print. Another study showed that children who are read to more than three times a week are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percentile in reading than children who are read to less than three times a week.

After the presentation concluded, Morning Rotary members pledged $1,250 in support of this program. This gift will support ten children for their full-term of eligibility.

“Literacy is of great importance to Morning Rotary,” said Maureen Kertes, President of Rotary Club of Marietta – Morning. “We are proud to support this program and we look forward to helping our local children achieve developmental milestones.”

The Imagination Library Program is a book gifting program to children from ages birth to five years old. For $25 per year, registered children receive one book in the mail each month. If a child is registered in the program for the full-term of eligibility, the cost is $125, spread over five years, and equates to a total of 60 books.

“Children registered with us receive a high-quality book in the mail each month,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “And, what is really neat about this program, is that these books come addressed to the child. Which is a big deal, especially if they aren’t able to receive new things very often.”

The Marietta Community Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. Founded in 1974, the Marietta Community Foundation has grown over the years thanks to a number of generous gifts.

If you know a child, ages birth to five years old, in Washington County that isn’t registered through the Foundation, please contact Britani Merritt at 740-373-3286 or