Best-selling author and nationally known speaker Annie F. Downs recently partnered with Christian Appalachian Project on a literacy initiative for preschoolers in Rockcastle, McCreary, and Jackson Counties in Kentucky. Downs, who visited Appalachia on a mission trip as a teen, wanted to find a way to help people in the region. Providing books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was the perfect fit for the former school teacher. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book-gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income.
“The gift of reading is life-changing because it expands your mind by introducing you to different people and places,” Downs said. “When children are able to read, it opens up educational opportunities, which, in turn, will provide a better life and future for them.”
Guy Adams, the president/CEO of CAP, was interviewed by Downs earlier this year for the podcast “The New Activist,” in which they discussed the ways CAP services are having a transformational impact on the region.
“CAP is excited to partner with Annie Downs, who is doing so much to transform the lives of her readers,” Adams said “Our partnership with Annie is a perfect embodiment of our mission to build hope, transform lives, and share Christ’s love through service in Appalachia.”
The goal of the partnership campaign was to raise $13,000 to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to the aforementioned counties in Appalachia. Through the generosity of over 550 faithful donors, that goal was surpassed — with a total of $21,765 raised.
“I am blessed to be able to partner with CAP to make it possible for children to receive a free book each month through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” Downs said. “These books will be a gift to each child and their entire family. It is such an honor to be a part of putting so many books in the hands of children in Appalachia.”