As the far-reaching effects of a global pandemic limit our movements and actions, there is but one thing that remains free and unfettered in the bastions of our minds: Imagination.
Our imagination is the one thing that erases all walls and boundaries, availing us with a complimentary golden ticket that will take us anywhere in the world.
It's easy to access one's imagination; just gaze upon a work of fanciful art, or leaf through the pages of a fantastic book.
Imagination in Art
Florida artist Deborah Elaine captures the imagination with her vibrant watercolor, 'Mushroom Fairy'; a colorful portrait that portrays a classic fantasy figure, a nymph of nature that bespeaks timeless grace.
Elaine has both originals and prints available for sale at www.DeborahElaineDesigns.com. Email [email protected]
Imagination in Books
Ginger Korbus of Brooksville has won a $25 gift card drawing for completing United Way's Dolly Parton's Imagination Library "READ TO ME" Parent Survey #2; a survey that tracks a family's progress in regards to a universally popular childhood reading program.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a global book gifting program, created by the country music legend that marks its namesake, which mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Republic of Ireland.
"Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county," reads Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (https://imaginationlibrary.com/). "Today, her program spans four countries and mails over 1 million free books each month to children around the world."
The United Way is an active supporter and the Hernando County facilitator of DPIL, which as of June 30, 2020, has gifted more than 140 million free books around the world, and sponsors cash drawings to reward families who complete surveys related to their program participation (https://www.unitedwayhernando.org/United-Way-Supported-Programs).
Korbus, an event chairperson with the Junior Service League of Brooksville, is a major supporter of the DPIL program.
"I was so thrilled to win that gift card," she said. "We have loved the DPIL program and signed (daughter) Caroline up the month we brought her home. We will be signing our son, Otto up as well."
Korbus sees reading as both a family activity and a valued family tradition.
"I’ve always been an avid reader and wanted to share my love of books and stories with my children," she explained. "We have gotten one book each month since Caroline was about 3 months old and she will be 5 in August. I believe we have received approximately 55 books at this time. We read every night before bedtime and started that routine when she was an infant."
Korbus also finds that, during the toughest times, books hold the power to help and educate.
"During this pandemic, Caroline learned to read," she said. "She was learning to read in her VPK class when she got quarantined to the house. She has been extra motivated to read to her baby brother. It’s quality time we get together as a family, without screen time, to be close and talk to each other about the story and characters."
Indeed, a gift card is far from the only benefit that Korbus and her family have derived from their involvement in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.
"The program is a blessing and we have appreciated being a part of it," she said. "United Way is so supportive of community programs and Angie (Angie B. Walasek, United Way of Hernando County’s Executive Director) does a phenomenal job engaging the community and furthering their reach."
If you would like to further the reach of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, as supported locally by the United Way of Hernando County, then please answer this week's Show Us Your 'Sun'shine Summons; an opportunity for Hernando Sun readers to spread their own sunshine.
A one-time donation of $25 will provide an Imagination Library book to a child beneficiary each month for 1 year.
Those who choose to answer our 'Sun'shine Summons by making a DPIL donation are encouraged to submit a photo and/or account of their good deed, for inclusion in a future edition of Show Us Your 'Sun'shine. Send these submissions, along with any other good news, to community reporter Megan Hussey at [email protected]