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    The Lunie Librarians are over the Moon about the Imagination Library Spelling Bee

    By: Christy V. Temple

    This past Tuesday evening, September 12th, 2017, the Imagination Library held its annual Spelling Bee here in Owensboro, Kentucky. This year the “Bee” is taking place at Gambrinus Libation Emporium downtown on Main Street. This year, just as in years past, the Daviess County Public Library has put together a team to try and beat out the other local teams to win the coveted prize of being the best spellers for the year.

    However, it’s not just about participating in a spelling bee and finding out who is the best. There are other more important reasons as to why an event like this is put on every single year. The Imagination Library was conceived out of the idea that every child should have the right and access to be able to read books from a very young age regardless of the circumstances that life may have dealt them. We know that reading at a young age is extremely important to a child’s development in later years so that’s why this program is so wonderful.

    First, let me provide some background on this program to give you a better idea of why we do this every year. The Imagination Library was brought to fruition by Dolly Parton in 1995. This program was originally intended to benefit the children in her home county of East Tennessee. According to the Imagination Library website bearing her name, Dolly wanted to “foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and the magic they can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.”

    The most amazing part of this story is that the program was so successful that it took off in a big way and in 2000 she announced that she wanted to expand the program with anyone who was willing to partner with her in this endeavor. Therefore, the program could be replicated in any community as long as they could support it financially. Henceforth, this is one of the main reasons that we have a spelling bee every year so that we can get the word out to provide financial support in order to be able to send books out to our children here locally.

    The Imagination Library of Daviess County joined the program in 2007 so this year would mark 10 years that the program has locally been giving back to the community by providing books to children each month. The way the spelling bee works is like this: anyone in the community can put together a team and pay $50 to participate in the competition. Then, at least 15 teams get together on two Tuesday nights in September this year to compete against each other. The top 4 winning teams from each of the initial two Tuesday nights will come back to play the final round against each other on Tuesday, September 26th to win it for the year.

    Basically, all spelling is done as a team. According to the local website, “if a word is misspelled in the first two rounds of competition you can buy back into the competition for only $30, which is the cost to supply books for one child for a year. A team with lots of buy backs can stay in the competition longer. However, you cannot win the competition with a buy back. Therefore, the more buy backs that happen in the competition the more children are served by the program, which is a win-win situation.

    So, for this year, the Spelling Bee has already started and it’s too late to join as a team. However, we would be more than happy to have people come out from the community to help cheer us on in our efforts. The next spelling bee will be on Tuesday, September 19th and the final round will be on Tuesday, September 26th. Hats off to all the spellers from the Daviess County Public Library for taking the time out of their busy schedules to participate including: Christine Gish, our illustrious leader, Kara Schroader, Christina Clary, Taryn Norris, Christy Temple and Mike Heflin. We had a great time this past Tuesday night and are ready for the final round at the end of the month. Go team! Let’s remember to win for the children of our community with reading!



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