500,000 books have made it to children in Onslow County

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Have you ever tried to build your own personal library? Well, children in Onslow County are proving to do just that after hitting a new milestone.

They truly are mini-libraries, and now with the help of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, more than 500,000 books have made it through to Onslow County children since 2011.

With the help of local organizations in the county, around 26,000 children have been able to add to their literary collection.

Dawn Rochelle is the CEO of One Place Onslow County. She said this type of milestone proves important because it provides the power of literacy to these children. Noting that especially in such a military-heavy town, these new families are working to set up their lives so books may not always be their top priority to get.

“Some of these books have now turned over time and time again in our community through our placement of little free libraries. And it’s always a wonderful thing to see one of Dolly’s books coming to us gently used, we would like it to be really used even more, but gently used so that we can turn it over in the community,” said Rochelle.

Rochelle said not only does this increase literacy, but it also helps to combat other issues some children may go through.

“You know, one of our missions is to end child abuse. And people may say, ‘Well, what do books have to do with that?’ Well, we know that research shows that children who have a library of at least 25 books in their home and are read to on a consistent basis have a less incidence of child abuse and neglect.”

She says when they first started their efforts she can remember distributing 101 books in the first month, saying she is amazed to see how far things have come. Rochelle says to know half a million books have landed ownership in Onslow County proves that communities anywhere can make their own mini library.

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