First Baby to Enroll in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
of Decatur County in 2020
GREENSBURG – Aaron and Catherine Fletcher rang in the new year by welcoming their child, Kenzley Grace, who arrived at 1:06 p.m. Jan. 2, 2020. Little Kenzley, the first baby of 2020 born at Decatur County Memorial Hospital, weighed in at 6 pounds 5 ounces and measured 18 inches long.
In addition to being the first child born at DCMH in 2020, Kenzley is the very first child to be enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Decatur County.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, is a new program being offered to parents of newborns at Decatur County Memorial Hospital beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
The Imagination Library is made possible locally through a collaborative partnership between the Decatur County United Fund, Decatur County Memorial Hospital and The Hospital Foundation of Decatur County. Dennis Fogle, The Hospital Foundation Executive Director, states that, “by supporting our children through literacy, we can ensure them the stability to progress through the stages of their education. The Hospital Foundation of Decatur County is proud to be an important part of a child’s early education. Nothing can take the place of time spent reading to a child.”
Each newborn enrolled receives a free, specially-selected, age-appropriate book each month beginning at birth and continuing until age five.
“Parents and caregivers are a child’s first teacher and set the course for developing their child’s love of books and reading. Reading is such a special gift to give to your child. It’s special time spent together and it helps prepare them for a life-long love of learning,” said Joane Cunningham, Executive Director of the Decatur County United Fund.
Since the inception of the Imagination Library in 1995, 130,905,270 books have been gifted to children across the world with 17.1 million books mailed in 2019 alone. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics.
Rex McKinney, President and CEO of Decatur County Memorial Hospital remarked that, “to effectively serve our community in the future, we have a duty to educate others. We are honored to be a partner in this program that invests in the education of future generations.”