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Welcome to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library News & Media section. Here you will find an ever-compiling lists of ongoing conversations and news articles related to our program and The Dollywood Foundation. If you have your own news article or media to share, by all means we encourage you to do so by contacting the Regional Director for your area. If you are unsure of who your Regional Director is, you can find that information by visiting the Find My Affiliate area.

The Dollywood Foundation of Canada to support family literacy initiative for First Nation families throughout Manitoba

RBC supports initiative with $50,000 contribution

Winnipeg, June 19, 2014 - RBC today announced a donation of $50,000 to The Dollywood Foundation of Canada (DWF CA) to add a family literacy initiative to its signature program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The Imagination Library provides a new, age appropriate book each month to every preschool student enrolled in the program.   Currently, DWF CA has secured financial support to provide the Imagination Library to all of the children in 61 of the 63 First Nation Communities in Manitoba. Partners include RBC, Frontier School Division, Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Centre, Manitoba Community Services, Aseneskak Casino and the Provincial Government.
The RBC grant provides funding to provide family literacy training through Bookmates Inc. in several communities and a broad public awareness campaign to encourage families to read daily to their children.
"Literacy is an essential building block to creating bright futures and long-term opportunities for youth in our Aboriginal communities," said Annette Sabourin, RBC Vice President Aboriginal Markets, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and NW Ontario.  "We are proud to support the Dollywood Foundation of Canada to foster this important life skill, as we prepare to celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21st."
The collaboration among private and public sources guarantees that every First Nation preschool child under 5 years of age and living on reserve will have up to 60 books delivered to their home over the next 5 years. The Founder of the program, Dolly Parton, said,” I never thought this little dream of mine would reach all of the way to Manitoba. I am so thankful that RBC has invested in the opportunity to do everything we can to make sure all children enter kindergarten with a love for reading and learning”
The goal for the Manitoba program is to enroll 10,000 children in the Imagination Library and with the support from RBC, to provide literacy training to individuals working with families with preschoolers.  These efforts will be supplemented with direct distribution of information to parents to help maximize the impact of the books along with a media campaign to put reading first. According to David Dotson, Secretary of DWF CA, “We only have two communities remaining to secure funds to make this effort available to all First Nation preschool children on reserve. We are confident others will step forward to raise the remaining $75,000.”

About RBC and Aboriginal Canadians
RBC has a proud history of strong relationships with Aboriginal peoples. For more than 100 years, RBC has helped strengthen First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada. We are committed to serving Aboriginal governments, communities, organizations, businesses and individuals by creating opportunities for sustainable economic development through: access to banking and capital; community and social development; employment, education and training; and procurement. RBC also provides donations and grants that support Aboriginal interests in three key areas: the environment, specifically water; youth literacy and education; and culture and heritage. For more information about these programs and more, visit rbcroyalbank.com/aboriginal
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability.


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