In 2009, the Choteau High School student organization Family, Career and Community Leader of America (FCCLA), Choteau School District 1, and the Choteau/Teton Public Library joined together to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program to children who reside in the Choteau School district.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program delivers a book a month to children from birth to age 5, and was established by the country and western singer and songwriter Dolly Parton in 1995 to improve children’s literacy.

All parents or guardians need to do is register their child and then he or she will receive an age-appropriate book every month, delivered to the child’s mailing address, until his or her 5th birthday as long as the child resides in the Choteau school district.

Registration forms can be picked up at the Choteau High School Office, the Choteau/Teton Public Library or printed online from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library webpage. Parents will receive a postcard confirming the child’s registration, and books will begin to arrive about six to eight weeks after registration.

The Dolly Parton Foundation provides the books and mails them out each month, but each program is responsible for its own funding. It costs about $30 per child each year to provide the books. The Choteau program is supported by fundraisers that the CHS FCCLA members hold and by donations from members of the community.

Donations can be mailed to Choteau High School FCCLA, 204 7th Ave. N.W., Choteau, MT 59422 or dropped off at the Choteau/Teton Public Library or high school office. Checks should be made payable to CHS FCCLA.

The benefits of providing books for children and reading to them are many, including helping children develop language and literacy skills that will prepare them to succeed in school. If you would like more information about the program and the benefits it offers children, FCCLA members will be at the Choteau Soroptimists’ Winter Fair at the Choteau Pavilion on Nov. 6. Sample books will be displayed and questions about the program answered; registration and donation forms will also be available.