Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Coming to Great Bend!

United Way of Central Kansas and our Dolly Committee is excited to announce that Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be kicking off in Great Bend on September 19th at the Great Bend Public Library.  The Dolly Committee, which consists of Mark Mingenback, Cole & Regan Reif, and Julie Bugner-Smith, have been working feverishly for over a year to secure the funding to bring this program to Great Bend.  With the support of numerous sponsors across the community including businesses and individuals, children age 0-5 in the 67530 zip code will begin receiving FREE books in the mail each month. 


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that is largely subsidized by the Dollywood Foundation, but does require a community organization to run each local program.  United Way of Central Kansas saw the strong impact that this program has on childhood literacy, and took the helm to bring this to our children.  Each month, children who sign up that live in Great Bend, along with already established programs in Ellinwood, Larned, Hoisington, and Otis will receive a free book every month up until their 5th birthday.  Thanks to the Dollywood Foundation, this program costs the UWCK just $30 a year for every child that enrolls and this cost is underwritten by our generous sponsors. 


We will be kicking off this program at the Great Bend Public Library on September 19th following the Library Story Hour, at approximately 10:30 am.  We invite the public to come join us as we begin this program.  Parents will be able to register their children for the program; provided proof of address in the 67530 zip code, examples of proof would be a current ID or utility bill; there will be snacks, a craft project for the kids, and we will be giving away Dolly books to some lucky winners.  Our local Dolly Parton will also be on hand to meet with the children and read some books.  We encourage parents to bring their children and be a part of the fun.


This would not be possible without the amazing support of our community sponsors and we hope that they can join us as well to see this program unfold and begin to see the incredible impact that literacy has on the lives of children and the community.


“Dolly Parton's Imagination Library started as a Literacy community impact program in Larned.  It was a dream for the United Way of Central Kansas Board and myself to see this program in every community and now a reality made possible by so many that saw the benefit the program has on early childhood development and Kindergarten readiness. The Libraries have been fabulous partners and are crucial to make this program run smoothly.

I cannot thank Mark Mingenback, Cole and Regan Reif, the UWCK Board, the Sponsors, Gaila Demel, Paula Mauler, and Charell Owings for their dedication to seeing the final piece of the puzzle completed in Great Bend. The DPIL program is available to hundreds of children in Larned, Claflin, Ellinwood, Hoisington, Otis and now Great Bend.  The impact is far reaching and is a legacy left for the communities in years to come.

So start a movement and read to your child no matter the age, it is never too late!” Julie Bugner-Smith


"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." Dr. Seuss


This would not have been possible without all our amazing sponsors!


Barry & Monica Bowers Mother Goose Levels of Giving
Benefit Mgmt Mother Goose 1-24 Children Mother Goose
Bob & Carol Dema Mother Goose 25-49 Children Dr. Seuss
Brent Waters Mother Goose 50-100 Children Curious George
Brentwood Builders Mother Goose 100 + Children The Little Engine that Could

Chapter DU PEO Sisterhood

Chapter IV PEO Sisterhood

Mother Goose

Mother Goose

Credit Union of America Mother Goose    
Curt & Paula Mauler Mother Goose    
Dan & Alicia Lear Mother Goose    
David & Sherri Marmie Mother Goose    
Delta Tau Chapter ESA Mother Goose    
Dr. Perry & Krista Smith Mother Goose    
Earl & Judy Fox Mother Goose    
Farmers Bank & Trust Mother Goose    
First Kansas Bank Mother Goose    
Great Bend Kiwanis Mother Goose    
Harper Camperland Mother Goose    
Jan Westfall Mother Goose    
Janice Walker Mother Goose    
Jeremy & Charell Owings Mother Goose    
Jim & Judy Johnson Mother Goose    
Jim & Laura Smith Mother Goose    
Kim Vink Mother Goose    
Landmark Bank Mother Goose    
Mark & Julie Smith Mother Goose    
Mark & Leslie Mingenback Mother Goose    
Matt & Dena Hiss Mother Goose    
Matt & Mary Hoisington Mother Goose    
Maurice & Gaila Demel Mother Goose    
Midwest Energy Mother Goose    
Pilot Club of Great Bend ADM Mother Goose  
Progress Club Mother Goose    
Projects by Design Mother Goose    
Shawn, Desa, & Kya Behr Mother Goose    
American State Bank Dr. Seuss    
Cole & Regan Reif Dr. Seuss  
Cornerstone Automotive Dr. Seuss    
Great Bend Optimist Club Dr. Seuss    
Great Bend Public Library Dr. Seuss    
Nex-Generation (Nex-Tech) Dr. Seuss    
Community Bank of the Midwest Curious George    
Craig & Jolene Biggs Curious George    
Great Bend Evening Lions Club Curious George    
Great Bend Rotary Club Curious George    
Damon Family Trust The Little Engine That Could    
Freddy's Frozen Custard The Little Engine that Could    
Great Bend Noon Lions Club The Little Engine That Could    
Great Bend Tribune The Little Engine That Could