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Campbell Library Seeks School Districts' Help in Book Program for Young Kids

The Campbell County Public Library is asking school districts to join it in funding the Imagination Library.

The program is part of the Dolly Parton Foundation that provides books to children from birth to age five. Campbell County Library director J.C. Morgan wants to see books in the hands of all county kids in that age group, which, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, numbers about 1,185.

Morgan spoke to the Newport Board of Education this week.

The foundation covers the costs of printing the books and administration, but does not cover postage. Morgan said that it costs $2.10 per child to mail one book per month. He said the library would fund half that cost but is hoping that school districts would cover the other half.

The foundation expects the program to reach 20 percent of eligible children in its first year, but Morgan expected to reach 30 percent with an effort to reach parents and encouraging them to register their children.

Morgan told Superintendent Kelly Middleton that the library would put up 30 percent of the cost up front and would like to see the school district do the same.

Board member Julie Smith-Morrow, who chaired this week's meeting with the absence of regular chair Ramona Malone, thanked Morgan for attending and said that the board would look into the issue further.

In other news, the board approved its role in the industrial revenue bonds being used to redevelop the Baptist Convalescent Center. Forty-five condo units are expected to be put in the building. The district will receive $2 per $1,000 of valuation per unit in lieu of regular tax rate collection.

Dennis Maines, the new principal at Newport Middle School, was introduced at the meeting. He was most recently superintendent at Silver Grove Schools, but joined Newport after the Silver Grove board of education voted to close its district and merge with Campbell County Schools.

Basketball coach Rod Snapp introduced three of his star basketball players, Zien Garland,  Makhi McGuire, and Donnie Miller, and presented them with certificates for being outstanding players.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor