The Greater Seymour Area Foundation was established in August 13, 1998 and has grown to include 22 funds. Since its inception, the Greater Seymour Area Foundation has made $36,374.84 in charitable grants and distributions.
A program that the Greater Seymour Area Foundation works closely with is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
“(Parton) began this program after discovering that the illiteracy rate in her hometown was 35 percent amongst the adults,” Ron Giedd said. “While you can’t do much for the adults, you can start with the children and provide a way for them to learn how to read.”
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library provides a book a month to all registered children from birth to age 5. The books are selected by a panel of learning experts and mailed to the child.
“We do this for two program for two reasons,” Giedd said. “The philanthropic reason is to help kids get a start on their education, and the other reason is to get our name out there and develop recognition.”
Every book that goes into the household gets sent with the child’s name on it and says it is from the Greater Seymour Area Community Foundation.
The program has shown great results in improving the illiteracy rate as it lowered to 15 percent.
“The kids said, ‘Read me this book, mommy,’ and the parent had to learn to how,” Giedd said.
The cost per child is $30 a year. There are currently 62 children registered in the Seymour area for this program. To sustain this level of membership, the Greater Seymour Area Foundation needs additional donations.
“It’s a challenge to the community to keep this alive,” Giedd said. “We can’t take endowment money; this is a program that completely stands alone.”
To become a donor, or for more information, contact Renne Wallace at (417) 935-2888.