Meet your favorite storybook characters: Pizza & Pals event set for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
The second annual Pizza & Pals promises to be a day of fantasy, with pizza and ice cream as snacks, storytime and an opportunity to meet your favorite storybook characters.
It’s a fundraiser for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at the Biesiot Activities Center.
“Some of your favorite characters are returning from last year, and there will be additional new ones, as well,” said Marisa Armstrong, chairperson of the local Dolly Parton Imagination Library chapter.
“It’s a unique event -- of course we’ll have a section of Disney princesses, we’ll have superheroes like Batman, we’ll have Paw Patrol, Mickey and Minnie, Star Wars characters, Scooby Doo and Cat in the Hat -- from storybook favorites to movies.”
Armstrong described last year’s event as amazing.
“The kids were so excited, we had a dance party towards the end of the event. It was awesome and it was a thrill for all of them.”
Imagination Library is a free program offered to Stark County children ages 0-5 years. (The exception is Belfield because that community has its own Imagination Library.) They receive a free age-appropriate book every month -- a total of 60 books received before they enter kindergarten.
“Our program was launched several years ago by a group of parents, teachers and community members who thought it was a great program,” she said. “Teachers recognize the importance of early home literacy, not only for academic success, but for self-esteem and reading with family at home.”
Pizza & Pals is a family-oriented event, for parents and kids of all ages including teenagers.
“Our Imagination Library board is all volunteer -- a lot of work goes into this event, and we do have some high school students helping,” she said. “The program has really grown. In speaking with parents, they say their kids love waiting for their books to arrive in the mail in their own name.”
Volunteer Erica Crespo is an occupational therapist and currently a stay-at-home mom.
“I know how important reading is in our child’s life, for their developmental skills,” she said. “Reading is something we enjoy doing together; at night we read a book. He loves to get Imagination Library books in the mail.”
The books were described as high-quality literature, including board books, paperbacks and hardcovers. They also are available in Braille and audio.
The board is currently looking for sponsors at various levels-- the Cinderella sponsor, the Cat in the Hat sponsor, the Curious George sponsor. Of course, individual amounts also are welcome. This money is used to pay for the books that the children receive free of cost.
“Everyone of us remembers a book that was special to us when we were younger -- that it’s really important giving a book to every child in the community, no matter their situation,” Armstrong said.
Parents may enroll their children online at imaginationlibrary.com.
To make a donation, send checks to Stark County Imagination Library, Box 501, Dickinson, ND 58602.
The cost to attend is $10 per person -- ages 2 and younger are free. Limited tickets are available at Quality Quick Print, Dickinson Area Public Library, and in the Prairie Hills Mall. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.
Dolly Parton launched her Imagination Library in 1995 to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee. It was her vision to foster a love of reading about the county’s preschool children and their families by giving them a specially selected book each month. Today, her library sends more than one million books per month to children around the world.