Hancock Literacy Fund

Type: Agency

Hancock Literacy Fund

Established 2020

In 2009, a coalition focusing on literacy was created because of a community summit hosted by The Community Foundation (TCF). The summit revealed a notable lack of quantitative local and national data regarding the specific state of literacy in Hancock County and that the creation of a coalition to focus on local resources, expertise and interests on the issue of literacy in Hancock County would be a beneficial and strategic move for the community.

The coalition assessed the needs of the community. The key findings included:

  • 58.6% of Hancock County preschool-aged children are not ready to enter kindergarten and
  • 14% of the Hancock County adult population lack basic literacy skills.

In response, Hancock Literacy established early childhood literacy as its first major initiative. They launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in 2014 to build early childhood literacy. The Library program provides age-appropriate books, selected by a blue-ribbon panel of educators, monthly to children enrolled from birth until their fifth birthday. Programs established since then include:

  • Parent Partners – trains volunteers to visit homes of underserved children to coach the parents on the best ways to read to their children;
  • Family Literacy Nights – teaches families literacy activities they can do at home;
  • Tell-A-Tale – a creative writing content for K-5 students; and
  • Community Books – provides books in-bulk to nonprofit organizations in Hancock County that serve at-risk children.

This fund benefits Hancock Literacy and its programs providing lifelong literacy support to all Hancock County residents.