Is Dolly Parton a Member of The Junior League?

While the singer-songwriter, author, actress and philanthropist is not a member of The Junior League, she is playing a vital role in an important project by the Junior League of Birmingham to foster literacy through an innovative program that puts books in the hands of kids and their parents at what many educators say is the best time: before they go to school and before they even attempt to learn how to read.

The JLB Imagination Library, in partnership with the Dollywood Foundation, has made the 60-volume Dolly Parton Imagination Library available to all children under the age of 5 in Jefferson County, Alabama. Each month, from birth to age 5, every child registered will receive a high-quality, age appropriate book in the mail free of charge.

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What Happens When You’re Too Old for Santa Claus…and Foster Care?

There are approximately 500,000 young Americans in foster care around the country, according to the most recent federal AFCARS data. While most returned to their birth families, went to live with other family members or were adopted, the 14% who age out or otherwise drop out of foster care may find that the biggest challenge in leaving the system is survival.

“Statistics prove that the physical, emotional and social outcomes for ‘aged-out’ foster kids is often bad—bad for the kids and bad for the community that often has no way of dealing with them,” said Debbie Robinson, President of The Association of Junior Leagues International, which represents 292 individual Junior Leagues in four countries. “For all of the money, time and effort we devote to keeping kids in foster care, unfortunately they are too often left on their own when they ‘graduate.’”

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Happy Birthday, Big Bird!

For many, it’s hard to remember a time when Big Bird—the eight-foot, two-inch bright yellow bird who skates, dances and sings—wasn’t a daily feature of Sesame Street. But we do.

Before Sesame Street aired for the first time on November 10, 1969, TV programming for kids was a joke without a punch line. Howdy Doody was better than most commercial efforts, but it never claimed to be educational. Then came Big Bird.

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